From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate Committee on Police Affairs, yesterday, claimed that former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan used the Nigeria Police against their perceived political rivals.
The panel was mandated on Wednesday to ensure the restoration of the security details of Anambra State Governor, Mr. Willie Obiano.
The committee headed by Abu Ibrahim said in a report that it was “significant and exemplary” that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the immediate reinstatement of the governor’s security details even before the Senate resolution.
The committee described what happened in respect of Governor Obiano’s security details as “most unfortunate.”
The report was, however, not entertained on the floor of the Senate yesterday.
The committee said Nigerians must not forget that the perceived use of the Police to persecute a sitting governor was made a practice tool by immediate past administrations.
“In those days of impunity, the directives (to use the Police to persecute political opponents) were directly linked to the Presidency and the then sitting presidents never issued any instructions to counter the positions of the Police and security services.”
The report further read: “Dr. Chris Ngige as the then governor of Anambra State suffered abduction and when he regained freedom and attempted to castigate the powers that be at the federal level, his security details were withdrawn on January 2nd 2005.
“In April 2007, a few days to the election, ‘higher’ authorities ordered the withdrawal of the ADC and the CSO to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The APC leader was also threatened with arrest in the lead-up to the 2011 elections.
“In September 2013, then governor Rotimi Amaechi in his capacity as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, was harassed on several occasions with the threat of withdrawal of his security aides.
“While his were repeated threats, the president of this distinguished Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was not that lucky. His aides were actually withdrawn in September 2013 as punishment for his support of the rebellion within the then ruling PDP.
“In February 2014, the security details attached to the then governor of the Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, were withdrawn on the orders of the Presidency. The same man suffered the same fate again when he became the Emir of Kano, in June 2014. The Emir’s palace was sealed off by the Police to prevent him from entering it and he had to assume his responsibilities from within the confines of the Kano State Government House.
“It is also on record that, at the same time, security aides to then governor (now senator) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso were withdrawn. All on ‘orders from above’. Then governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State had his security details withdrawn in April 2014.
“In October 2014, the security details of the then Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal were withdrawn. This was after a blatant attempt was made to effect his impeachment.”