The All Progressives Congress (APC) has strongly condemned the apparently-orchestrated attack on Edo legislative quarters on Saturday, saying the attack raised the level of impunity under the Jonathan administration to a level not even contemplated in the days of military rule.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said based on the ease with which the thugs invaded a facility that should be well secured and the ample time they had to damage over 30 cars and inflict injuries on legislators and their families, there is no question that the attack was carried out with the collusion of the lawless PDP and the increasingly-partisan police.
“Gov. Adams Oshiomhole said the government got intelligence report on the attack and informed the State Police Commissioner. Instead of sending in reinforcement to prevent the attack, the few policemen attached to the quarters were withdrawn before the attack. This is another indication of a police force that is being bankrolled by all taxpayers becoming shamelessly partisan and engaging in selective implementation of its constitutional role of protecting the lives and property of the citizenry,” it said.
APC said, however, that the atmosphere for the attack was created by a president whose body language encourages impunity, a president who has converted the police and the army to his party’s militia, a president who presides over a government that is incapable of maintaining law and order, not to talk of protecting the citizens.
The party said whether in Rivers state, where the police was used to harass the opposition, including the Governor; Ekiti, where the police stood by while thugs led by a governor-elect Ayodele Fayose were beating Judges and sacking courts, the same Ekiti, where the PDP-led Federal Government had used the police and other security agents to prevent courts from re-opening as ordered by the National Judicial Council, or Edo, where the police have offered protection to renegade lawmakers at the expense of the majority, the Jonathan Administration has given a free rein to impunity like never before in the history of Nigeria.
“The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) takes orders only from the President. Therefore, where the president decides to turn the police to his personal militia for use in vindictive and vendetta attacks, the IGP is not only required to comply, he is also expected to pass the same orders down the hierarchy. This is what is happening across the country.
“The danger, however, is that when a society descends into anarchy, the same police will not escape the consequences, and will also not be able to handle the outcome of its collusion as professionalism would have deserted it and discipline compromised. By becoming partisan, the police force is destroying itself,” it said.
APC said the attack on the Edo legislative quarters on Saturday would have been prevented if the PDP thugs who molested Gov. Oshiomhole and top officials of his administration, when they went to the airport to receive President Jonathan a few days earlier, had been censured for their unacceptable and barbaric actions.
“By failing to sanction them accordingly, the powers that be have simply given a seal of approval to their actions and empowered them to do more, hence they became emboldened to attack the legislative quarters,” the party said.
APC reminded President Jonathan that attacks like the one in Edo, which the conniving police apparently allowed to happen, form part of the reasons some foreign governments, concerned about the way the Nigerian security agencies have used the weapons supplied to them to violate the human rights of citizens, have refused to sell arms to Nigeria.
“Which human rights violation could be more egregious than the police-sanctioned attacks on defenceless citizens in Edo State on Saturday?” the party queried, and called on the international community to pay a very close attention to the impunity in Nigeria, especially ahead of next year’s general elections.
“It can only be imagined what role the police and other security agencies that have been heavily compromised will play during the elections. It is therefore imperative for the international observers who will be coming for the elections to take this into consideration in their report on the processes before, during and after the elections,” it said.
APC however warned that those who are engaging in impunity today, just because they are in power, should realize that they will not be in power forever, and that one day they will account for their deeds.
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