A political movement, Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ), has asked the National Assembly to jettison its plan to set up a probe panel that would scrutinise the outcome of the recent Kwara state by-election, deserving it as a plot against democracy.
The organisation said probing the election which had been conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), would be “a gross misnomer.”
The CTJ threatened to lead a mass protest within the next 48 hours to challenge the action of the National Assembly through civil disobedience and in the court of law.
“Our concern also stems from the fact that the National Assembly has in recent times acted in manners despicable and undemocratic that one wonders whether the National Assembly is now a parallel government in Nigeria”, CTJ stated.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Sunday, Secretary-General of CTJ, Sunday Attah, stressed that the whole scenario meant that the National Assembly was arrogating powers to itself and usurping the role of the judiciary.
He said, “The National Assembly is not a personal property of Bukola Saraki, and as such it must rise above pettiness in the conduct of its activities, especially on matters of national interest.
“While it must be stated in unequivocal terms that the legislative arm of government as an arm of government created by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for oversight functions, it, however, did not make provisions for the instrument of the National Assembly to be used for personal gains or to settle political scores by any individual for selfish gains order than the protection of democratic instruments.
“While this can be termed as a gross misnomer by the National Assembly, it also portends grave danger to the survival of our democracy. The concept of separation of powers which is a unique feature of our constitution and that of the United States of America is to checkmate the excesses of strong men as against strong institutions.
“We are calling on well-meaning Nigerians to rise up enmasse come Tuesday November 27, to occupy the National Assembly premises to totally reject this ugly menace in our system. We enjoin our security agencies to provide enough security as much as it gives to the legislators to protect the ordinary citizens on the street and those who will be rising up as guardians of our democracy.
“The CTJ frowns at such flagrant abuse of privileges and is therefore constrained to ask if the National Assembly is acting in the interest of Nigeria, or self-serving.
“It is, therefore, our considered opinion that the probe of the recently concluded elections in Kwara state is not only out of place, but it is also indeed a plot against democracy and must as a matter of urgency be discontinued in the interest of the country.
“While it must be stated that the Bukola Saraki has turned the National Assembly into a personal fiefdom just like the case in Kwara state, and the fact that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the elections in Kwara state, the National Assembly decided to constitute a colossal nuisance to the polity by instituting a probe panel. The question thus is, is the National Assembly now a court of competent jurisdiction?
“It is indeed worrisome that the Bukola Saraki led National Assembly has continued to bring shame and disrespect to the spirit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by delving into matters outside its constitutionally recognized purview.
“It is also a shame that as a former governor, the Senate President would choose to disregard the provisions of the Constitution in matters of National interest by constituting itself as a clog in the wheels of the progress of the country.”