The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has said that it had genuine concerns over the safety of the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.
While criticising the recent invasion of the Senate by thugs, Ohanaeze said it also fears for the safety other lawmakers and staff of the National Assembly.
Thugs suspected to be loyal to the suspended Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial district, Ovie Omo-Agege, had on Wednesday invaded the red chambers and forcefully took away the mace.
Ohanaeze, in its reaction, said it was still at loss as to how armed men were able to break into the National Assembly situated in the most secured area in the country.
Ohanaeze’s reaction came in a statement by its President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, made available to reporters on Saturday, through his Special Advisor on media and publicity, Chief Emeka Attamah.
The statement read in part, “We join other patriotic Nigerians in condemning this reprehensible gangsterism and attack on the parliament and our democracy.
“However, the breach of security in an otherwise most-secured environment in Nigeria gives course for suspicion.
“We know for certain that there are several security checks before one can access the National Assembly Complex.
“We are also aware that it takes the motion for the suspension of the Order 17 of the Senate Standing Rule before anybody outside the Senators and chamber staff is allowed access into the Senate Chamber.
“It is also common knowledge that the National Assembly Complex is surrounded by the Presidential Villa, headquarters of the Department of State Security (DSS), the Office of the National Security Adviser, among others.
“So, how on earth did the assailants escape with the mace?
“We watched on live television and the other footage of the incident how the invaders moved menancingly towards the Deputy President before he was whisked away to safety by his security guards.
“With a hindsight of the attempt on Senator Ekwremadu’s life in November 2015 which the security agencies refused to investigate or say a word about, we have genuine cause to believe that the attack on the Senate chamberby armed men on a day the senate was in session and with the Senator Ekwremadu presiding had more sinister motives than met the eye.
“The 1999 Constitution (as amended) is very clear that the primary purpose of government is the welfare of citizens and the protection of their lives and property.
“We wish to state unequivocally that With all the legitimate instruments for the protection of lives and property, including those of the lawmakers and the parliament, firmly in the hands of the executive arm of government, Ndigbo and the world know whom to hold responsible should any harm befall the Senator or other lawmakers and parliamentary staff.
“Senator Ekweremadu is just the one eye with which Ndigbo are seeing in this administration that have unabashedly sidetracked the South East. He is the only Igbo man occupying a principal and non-appointive position in the top hierarchy of the Federal Government today and we believe that there should be limits to political rascality.
“Unfortunately, the Nigerian political class appears to have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing,” the Ohanaeze added.