Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu has denied report going round the media that he called for military intervention in Nigeria, just as the labour has warned it would resist military in politics.
“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.”
According to the Punch, Ekweremadu said in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Sunday that comments on the floor of the Senate, though “unambiguously in defence of democracy”.
The comments, he said, were either being twisted or misconstrued by some persons.
He was a guest of Governor Seriake Dickson when he and other African lawmakers attending the 74th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa Region) Executive Committee were invited for a dinner, Punch reported.
The denial was reported by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu.
Ekweremadu said he has respect for the Nigerian Armed Forces, and that comments made by lawmakers in the course of their duty should be situated within the proper context before any form of reaction.
“Of course, some people took it out of context and said I was calling for a military coup.
“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 overheat the system.’’
Meanwhile, the organized labour has warned that irrespective of several challenges facing the country, it would resist any illegal and undemocratic takeover of government in Nigeria.
According to the Vanguard, the labour said it was disturbed by some subtle insinuations from some quarters that the military would venture into the politics of the country.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, cautioned those mooting the idea to desist from throwing Nigeria into anarchy.
ASCSN ‘s position came on the heels of reports credited to Ekwueremadu.
In a statement issued in Lagos, ASCSN President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the Secretary-General, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, contended that any takeover of government by military again would take the country 50 years backward.
“It is common knowledge that since the military toppled the democratically elected government of Sir Tafawa Balewa in 1966, suspended the 1963 Federal Constitution and imposed a unitary system of government, the country’s growth has been stunted.
“We are also aware that all democracies in the world including that of the United States of America, Canada, Europe, etc, are not perfect but are still evolving and being improved upon.”
“The shortcomings being experienced in building democratic institutions in Nigeria were not peculiar and that with time, some of the flaws would be rectified.
“Thus, under no circumstances should individuals, no matter how highly placed, should begin to hint of military takeover of government in Nigeria.”