Trade Union Congress (TUC) has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar to dismiss the police orderly attached to the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi for taking side in an issue involving members of the State House of Assembly and physically assaulting a lawmaker.
TUC made the call in a statement issued by Comrades, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Musa Lawal, President and Secretary respectively to the union.The union called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and the Rivers State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, and other officers and men of the force to maintain total impartiality and the highest level of professional conduct in the matter.
“The police officer (alleged to be the aide d’ camp of the Rivers State Governor) who was shown on television physically assaulting a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly should be summarily dismissed, and he and other officers who have overshot or might overshoot the limits of their lawful authority in the matter should be promptly and effectively disciplined to serve as a deterrent to their colleagues who might otherwise be tempted to misbehave likewise”, TUC said, adding that the rule of law must be maintained on all fronts, the union said and called on the judiciary to treat the case on merit if any case is referred to it.
The TUC said it is disheartening for lawmakers to result to violence to settle scores between members. While commending federal lawmakers for debating the issues, the union called on them to be impartial so as to avoid playing to the gallery. See full text below.
It is disheartening that while the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and other Nigerians are yet to recover from the shock occasioned by the crisis that brewed after Nigeria’s Governors Forum elections, another shocker has come from the honourable members of Rivers State House of Assembly within the last couple of days. Only yesterday the world watched agape as two factions of the honourable members of the House openly engaged one another in fisticuffs, employing various improvised weapons (including the mace of the House) in the battle to subdue one another. Without mincing words, the spectacle of honourable legislators turned pugilists can best be described as very dishonourable and a show of shame, proving that politics in Nigeria is seen more as a most lucrative business than a call to service. We could only wish that the blood stains we saw on the wall of the House and in hospitals two days ago happened in one of the Nollywood movies.
Incidentally most Nigerians are not conversant with the reasons for all the fighting, but the obvious indications are that the crises is a fallout of long drawn-out disagreement between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi over conflict of their respective interests and aspirations in the 2015 elections – a conflict that also played out at the last Governors Forum elections.
The signs were indeed ominous and the drums of war between the parties and their supporters loud and clear, especially after the 36 state governors proved incapable of successfully conducting a free and fair election among themselves alone, thus raising questions as to whether Nigerians should entertain any realistic hope that the 2015 elections would be worth the name.
The fact that the crisis degenerated to the extent that members of the State House of Assembly readily took leave of whatever sense of decency and accountability they have speaks volumes about the nature of the average Nigerian politician and how deeply corruption has eaten into the fabrics of the country. An inescapable conclusion of any onlooker would be that each of the lawmakers has been well compromised with some form of pecuniary and/or political inducement or the promise thereof from either of the political gladiators. Little wonder that the honourable members could not manage themselves properly and proved themselves very dishonourable. Worse still, from media reports, it appears that the war between the foot-soldier legislators and their respective godfathers cum war generals is not yet over. And while the elephants fight, the grass – in this case the people of Nigeria in general and the people of Rivers State in particular – suffer!
But this is where the TUC and other well-meaning Nigerians must step in to reverse the tide. On our part we say “No” to any continuance of this show of shame and insist that President Jonathan, Governor Amaechi and their respective misguided yes-men in the River State House of Assembly cease forthwith from embarrassing the rest of Nigeria with their egoistic, crazy and ill-advised power-play. The end of the era of madness in high places in the Nigerian polity is long overdue. Enough of bad rubbish by our so-called leaders!
We applaud the House of Representatives for promptly deliberating on the matter and passing a resolution for the Representatives to take over the functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly until peace returns to the latter. We hope the resolution of the Representatives is independent and devoid of hidden agenda from any quarter. We also commend the Senate for referring the matter to a committee to study and report on, and we hope that members of the committee will do justice to the matter, and quickly too.
The Congress calls on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and the Rivers State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, and other officers and men of the force to maintain total impartiality and the highest level of professional conduct in the matter. The police officer (alleged to be the aide d’ camp of the Rivers State Governor) who was shown on television physically assaulting a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly should be summarily dismissed, and he and other officers who have overshot or might overshoot the limits of their lawful authority in the matter should be promptly and effectively disciplined to serve as a deterrent to their colleagues who might otherwise be tempted to misbehave likewise. The rule of law must be maintained on all fronts, and we charge the courts to ensure that this holds true if/when any case related to the crisis in Rivers State gets there.
Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama Comrade (Barr.) Musa Lawal
President, TUC Secretary General, TUC