Romanus Ugwu, Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja; and Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has disassociated itself from the actions of its senator representing Delta Central senatorial district, Ovie Omo-Agege, over his alleged role in the snatching of the Senate mace, by some hoodlums, yesterday.
The party described the act as an “attack on democracy,” in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, in Abuja.
“The attention of the APC has been drawn to the invasion of the Nigerian Senate by suspected thugs who disrupted Wednesday’s plenary and made away with the mace.
“We call on security agencies to take all necessary actions to recover the stolen mace and ensure that the perpetrators and their sponsors are brought to justice,” the statement read.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar also condemned the invasion.
Reacting to the incident, in Abuja, yesterday, Atiku described the attack as a dangerous precedent and an assault on Nigeria’s democracy by anti-democratic elements.
“I am utterly embarrassed, shocked and outraged by this ugly development because it is not only a threat to a major democratic institution, but also represents a grave danger to the survival of our democracy. If one organ is harmed, it affects others.”
Atiku said given the tension in the country, the timing of the attack could not have come at a worst time for Nigeria and that using illegal and unconstitutional methods to threaten the authority of a key democratic institution is “unacceptable, evil, and condemnable.”
To Third Republic Senate President, Ameh Ebute, the development showed that the Eight Senate is not accepted by the people. The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the National Open University Council said the incident meant that the nation’s democracy is still faulty.
“If thugs can enter the Senate and cart away the mace, it doesn’t augur well for you and I. It means that the security has totally broken down in this country. And, that means that the present Senate is not acceptable to the generality of the people; their performance is not satisfactory. It also indicates that.”
The Ugbokolo, Okpokwu, Benue state-born Ebute further said as representatives of the people, Senate should be a people-oriented Senate so that the wishes of the people would always preoccupy the Senate.
Meanwhile, Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed shock over the invasion.
The party said it was stunned when the thugs invaded the hallowed chamber, disrupted theplenary, and plucked the Mace from its stand and walked away with it.
In a statement by the Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Ifeanyi Osuoza, the PDP said it was flabbergasted that the suspended senator supervised the desecration of the hallowed chambers by thugs.
“Delta State PDP is aghast and flabbergasted by this shameful show of brazen impunity and unbridled affront on our democracy by a member of the Senate, who is not only expected to be distinguished and matured in actions, but is sadly from Delta state and representing the intelligent, discerning and well respected people of Delta Central senatorial district…”