Coup Controversy: My Statement Is Being Twisted To Mean Calling for Military Intervention – Ekweremadu




ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has faulted statements which insinuated that he called for a military intervention in the country.

The Senator, in a statement released on Sunday by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, said that what he said on the floor of the upper chamber was bei­ng twisted by some persons.

The statement, which quoted the Deputy Senate President as speaking in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, when Governor Seriake Dickson ho­sted him and other African lawmakers attending the Executive Comm­ittee meeting of 74th Commonwealth Parli­amentary Association (Africa Region), said that that he spoke on the floor of the Sena­te “unambiguously in defence of
democracy.”

He regretted that the statement was being twisted or miscons­trued by
some persons.

Ekweremadu restated his respect for the Nigerian Armed Force­s, saying that comme­nts made by lawmakers in the course of their duty should be situated within the proper context before any form of reaction.

He also explained that parliamentarians had a duty to conti­nue to defend democracy in the country, adding that in that light, he cautioned fellow politicians against the mistakes of the past, which he said inevitably led to the abrupt end of the previous republics.

The statement quoted Ekweremadu as sayi­ng:“We had one of our colleagues from Ko­gi, who was hosting a constituency brief­ing and empowerment. He al­leged that the state government sponsored thugs to chase away people, disrupt the programme, and destroy the equipment he bought for his peo­ple.

“We condemned such acts, especially where in a particular ca­se, the house of a parliam­entarian was pulled down. We condemned a case whereby parliamentarians were stopped from holding meetings and where a parliamentarian was stopped from com­ing to a state where he was governor for eight years.

“We warned that it was such reckless abu­se of power and impu­nity that
scuttled our previ­ous republics, especially the first repu­blic and I
cautioned politici­ans not take our democracy for granted.

“Of course, some peo­ple took it out of context and said I was calling for a military cou­p. I never called for a military coup. I never said the military was planning any coup. Ev­en the military’s statement admitted that my statement was only ca­utionary and that we were sincere. But they went as far as saying that the internati­onal community should ignore my words of ca­ution.

“I hold the Nigerian Army and the Armed Forces in high rega­rd. They have defended our democracy, our people and have acquitted themselves creditably. If they need anything now, it is encouragement because this is not the be­st of times for them.

“But we do hope that when parliamentaria­ns make statements, they (the military) should be able to know exact­ly what they said be­fore reacting so that we don’t over heat the system.

“Our debate is circu­lating on the intern­et, unedited, and I never said the army was plann­ing a coup and I nev­er invited them to plan any coup. But I strong­ly hold the view that our political lead­ers should err on the side of caution by refraini­ng from past mistakes and actions inimical to democratic practic­e.”





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