Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Saraki decries alleged bid to intimidate senators
President of the Senate, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said that the Senate will not allow the Executive arm of government at any level to cow its members because of their insistence on the need to adhere to democratic tenets and rule of law.
He expressed disgust over what he called attempts by those who believed they were promoting government but are actually destroying government’s image.Saraki’s position followed a complaint raised by Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kwara) on his alleged persecution by the Federal Government over his criticisms of the actions of the Kogi State government and the Federal Government.
The Senate President insisted that the upper legislative Chamber would continue to defend democracy even as he took a swipe at officials of the Federal Government involved in the alleged bid to intimidate lawmakers.Saraki said: “Senator Dino Melaye, your points are well noted and I do not see how the issue of arraignment can be a way forward in a matter like this. But be that as it may, I want us all to continue to defend democracy and fight for what is right and I can assure you that this institution will continue to stand for what is right.
“Those who think that they are helping the government are sometimes doing things not in the interest of this democracy. I think they need to do what is right for the interest of all of us. But for sure, what is wrong is wrong. I think those who are looking at this will have a review and do what is right.”Melaye had in a motion vowed to always criticise President Buhari and the Federal Government over alleged abuses of rule of law and democratic tenets.
Melaye said: “If this arraignment in Kogi State is to stop me from criticising the Federal Government, they have committed a capital compound mistake. I shall continue to speak. I shall continue to ask questions. I shall continue to criticise any public officer, including the president of Nigeria where he has gone wrong.
“I have conquered fear and I am not afraid of the prison. The last administration arrested me 14 times. The Abacha and Babangida’s governments detained me. I am not afraid of the prison. It is built because of human beings. But we will continue to speak the truth not minding whose ox is gored.“In an unjust society, silence is a crime.”