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Tambuwal Berates Security Agencies for not Arresting Tompolo, Others over Inflammatory Utterances

*says postponement inflicts indelible dent on integrity of 2015 Elections

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal has berated security agencies for their nonchalance attitude or reluctance to arrest and prosecute those who recently made inflammatory utterances which he said are inimical to the unity, peace and public order in the country.

Tambuwal who was reacting to threat of war by the Niger Delta militants if President Goodluck Jonathan loses the Presidential election said Nigerians have never needed intimidation or threats from any quarters to vote candidates at elections and they surely do not need any now.

The Speaker who stated this in his welcome address to the lawmakers when they resumed plenary on Tuesday noted that Nigeria belongs to all and not to politicians or other persons of unbridled ambition adding that, any ambition that fails to recognize and respect overriding national interest must halt or be halted.

On the postponement of the elections, Tambuwal said that this singular act has inflicted an indelible dent on the integrity of the 2015 Elections and indeed the country’s entire electoral process.

He however said that Government owes Nigerians a duty to make deliberate and honest efforts to restore public confidence in the process and in it’s commitment to free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections.

His words:

“I am persuaded that the nonchalance or at best reluctance of the security agencies in resorting to the laws of the land in arresting the trend constitute a direct affront on the revered doctrine of the rule of law. Nigerians have never needed intimidation or threats from any quarters to vote candidates at elections and they surely do not need any now.

“Our Constitution makes elaborate provisions for the rights and liberties of all citizens and therefore when certain misguided individuals or groups seek to unlawfully curtail these rights and liberties, the appropriate agencies of state must rise as a bulwark against such infractions.

“Since 1999 Nigerians have become accustomed with the installation of governments through the ballot box, they have shown and continue to show overwhelming preference for this democratic process and thus all retrogressive forces that seek to truncate democracy should be stoutly resisted by the people to whom power belongs. Nigeria belongs to all and not to politicians or other persons of unbridled ambition, any ambition that fails to recognize and respect overriding national interest must halt or be halted”.

On the task before the House, he said, “the first crucial task before us is the 2015 Budget Proposal which is at committee stage. I urge that the belated submission notwithstanding, we owe our country a duty not only to pass this Appropriation Bill speedily but also with due diligence and thorough scrutiny.

“As we deliberate, we must take cognizance of the prevailing global economic realities. Furthermore, remember that for the Seventh Assembly, this is the last Budget we will pass and we need to live a mark of diligence in this regard”.

Tambuwal said that other critical bill that must be passed included the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Constitutional Amendment Bill and similar such critical bills that are already at Report stage.

“I am confident that we shall pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Constitutional Amendment Bill and similar such critical bills that are already at Report stage.

“Also of the utmost urgency is the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which has already been passed by the two Chambers. The House of Representatives has already constituted her harmonization committee and I believe that the Senate will do same expeditiously so that we can wrap up soonest.

“ This is very critical as the amendments contained therein provide the clear legal framework for participation in the electoral process by Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s), whose numbers are, no doubt, substantial”, he said.

 

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