Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum yesterday criticised invasion of Akwa Ibom State Government House by operatives of Department of State Service (DSS).
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum yesterday criticised the reported invasion of Akwa Ibom Government House by operatives of Department of State Service (DSS). The governors gave the con- demnation after a meeting in the Bayelsa State Governor’s office in Yenagoa.
The Chairman of the forum, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, who read a communiqué after the meeting, said the invasion was against the spirit and tenets of democratic norms and tradition. “We insist that the trend must stop henceforth. No democracy survives without a viable opposi- tion in any part of the world. “And we must also remember to remind the APC that they are the real beneficiaries of the liberal democratic ethos of the PDP.
According to him, we all have a duty to prevent what looks to us like a steady slide of this country into dictatorship. Mimiko, who expressed worry of the PDP governors, described the alleged invasion of Akwa Ibom Government House by the DSS operatives as “an assault on democracy’’.
He said that what happened in Akwa Ibom posed serious danger to the country’s fledgling democracy. Mimiko said the action was one of the continuous attempts by the APC-controlled government to stifle the opposition.
The governors were Mimiko and the host, Governor Seriake Dickson. The deputy governors were Kingsley Otuaro, Delta; Kelechi Igwe, Ebonyi; and Yomi Awoniyi, Kogi. Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel has sued for calm.
The Governor, who spoke on the heels of his return from Abuja, the nation’s capital, calmed the frayed nerves over the matter, even as he appealed to his supporters not to overheat the polity. Governor Emmanuel, who would not want to be fully dragged into the DSS’s unwholesome act, told his supporters that the case was already being handled by the Presidency.
“The President is on top of the matter; so if the President has taken over the case, who am I to delve into the matter again”, he assured, adding that his government would never be at logger- head over security and consti- tutional dispute with the central government, as Akwa Ibom was willing to work with Abuja with a view to delivering the dividends of democracy to the people.
But angry reactions have continue to trail the invasion of the DSS operatives of the Akwa Ibom State Government House last week, with concerned Nigerians describing it as “a constitutional misnomer” aimed at sup- pressing the opposition States to be at the mercy of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government at the centre.
The Akwa Ibom State branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), has risen to condemn the bare-face invasion of the Government House in Uyo, describing the action as “purely unconstitutional and a total infringement on the right of States to operate independently”.
The new NBA chair in Akwa Ibom, Mr. Aniekan Amos Akpan, while addressing Journalists on the matter and other issues concerning his agenda for the law association, said the NBA was currently studying the situation with a view to intervening on the matter.
The NBA boss, who said he was on a mission to entrench the rule of law and protect the fundamental human rights of the people, condemned the invasion of the Government House, saying it was a blatant violation of the sanctity of a State as a constitutional entity with a Federation.
Akpan, who underscored the importance of independence judiciary, stressed the need for it to be strengthened in order to support the sustainability of the democratic process.
Worried by the matter, the House of Assembly also condemned the infiltration of the DSS operatives and demanded apology to the State government within seven days with threat to take legal action if the agency reneges.
– Iniobong Ekponta, Uyo