The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has reacted to the statement credited to him insinuating possibility of a military take over in the country. Ekweremadu, speaking over the weekend at the Diepreye Alaimeyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Onopa, during a dinner hosted by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, said his comments on the floor of the Senate were misconstrued.
He stressed that he would never make derogatory statements against the Nigerian military, urging that statements made by lawmakers in the course of their duty should be situated within the proper context before any form of reaction. Ekweremadu maintained that his remarks on the floor of the Senate chambers were to caution politicians to avoid the mistakes of the past, which inevitably led to the abrupt end of the First Republic.
He said “Before I close, let me just tell you one unfortunate incident that happened last week. “We had one of our colleagues from Kogi who was hosting a constituency briefing and empowerment. “He alleged that the government sponsored thugs to come and chase away people and destroy the programme and equipment he bought for his people. “We condemned such acts, especially where, in a particular case, the property of a parliamentarian was destroyed. “We condemned a case whereby parliamentarians were stopped from holding meetings and where a parliamentarian was stopped from coming to a state where he was governor for eight years.
“We warned that it was this kind of reckless abuse of power and impunity that scuttled our democracy earlier, especially in the First Republic and I cautioned that politicians should not take things for granted. “Of course, some people took it out of context and said I was calling for a military coup. “I never called for a military coup. I never said the military was planning any coup.
“If you read some parts of the military statement, they admitted that my statement and contributions were only cautionary and that we were sincere, but, they went as far as saying the international community should ignore me.” Meanwhile, reactions have continued trailed the deputy President’s statement. The Nigerian army said the statement by Ekweremadu was derogatory to the Army and by extension to the Armed Forces of Nigeria.