Ninth NASS: Secondus warns against intimidation

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TRACKING>>The national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has warned against alleged plots by the Presidency and the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) to muzzle the federal legislature.

Secondus allegation is coming ahead of Tuesday’s inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly, scheduled to hold at 10 am.

He accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the APC of direct involvement in the election of principal officers of the Assembly.

In a statement Monday by his media adviser, Mr. Ike Abonyi, the PDP chair said that the doctrine of the separation of powers must be respected and guided to avoid dictatorship.

Secondus said the warning has become absolutely germane given the “dictatorial tendencies” of the APC administration as seen in the last four years, and their continuous propensity to disregard the rule of law and other principles of democracy.

According to the PDP chair, intelligence available to the party indicated that the Presidency and the APC have concluded plans to use intimidation and coercion against legislators not ready to do their bidding in the plot to foist a leadership on the lawmakers.

He further alleged that the Presidency and the APC have been arm-twisting the leadership of the National Assembly bureaucracy; in a bid to fashion out favourable rules that would enable them have their way.

The party chairman said that the apparent disregard for the basic principles of separation of powers by the administration amounted to steering the nation toward dictatorship.

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According to him, the executive arm is trying to take over the Ninth Assembly so as to realise its long held aspiration of hijacking the legislature.

This tendency, he added, began August last year with the snatching of the Senate mace, which he said, was sponsored by the executive in a bid to abort the Eighth National Assembly.

“Indications are clearly showing that full blown dictatorship is brewing in our country

“When a supposed democratic government brazenly muscles all the other arms of government, the legislature, the Judiciary and even the press, the fourth estate of the realm, we should be worried at what is loading in our polity,” the party chair said.

Prince Secondus said that any government not disposed to respecting the principle of separation of powers and rule of law, as enshrined in the constitution in a democratic setting, is looking for absolute authority, which is nothing but totalitarianism.

He admonished legislators in the Ninth Assembly to guard their independence jealously and refuse to be intimidated, stressing that as elected representatives of the people; they remained the fulcrum of democracy.

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