👤 By Adenike Lucas
A top US government official has spoken about the recent issue going on in Nigeria where the Senate President and his deputy where harassed and other colleagues almost prevented from sitting as usual.
DENISAURUS News reported on Monday evening that a plan to illegally detain Bukola Saraki, President of the eight Senate was being hatched by Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force.
This paper had based the allegation on a statement Senator Saraki made online. He noted then that the IGP was bent on detaining him, despite the fact that the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP has been unable to establish any crucial evidence in the case against him involving the ongoing investigation into the Offa robbery.
The Police Chief, who seemed vex by lawmakers over their insistence that he appears at the National Assembly to provide answer questions on the killings in the country, it was reported requested that the former Governor and now Senator for Kwara Central should appear at the Force office in Abuja at 8am on Tuesday 24 July, 2018.
But, at 6am, DENISAURUS News learnt that the IGP’s officers went to block off the Abuja home of Senator Saraki.
Similarly, the home of the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu was barricaded by over 200 security personnel.
With both unable to leave the house, sitting would not have taken place and those who went on to decamp from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC would have been denied the opportunity to do so.
Speaking over the incident, David Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, warned those who might be using the police to intimidate lawmakers. He said the NPF must be neutral.
“We are all watching very carefully the political development in Nigeria in the last two days,” he said while addressing the media in Kaduna state.
He added: “I want to reiterate very strongly the United States Government’s position about elections and democratic process. This implies in Nigeria and indeed all around the world.
“In all countries, my country believes very strongly that democratic process goes hand in hand with basic freedoms and fair treatment for all according to the rule of law.
“So, importantly, matters of rule of law goes hand in hand with transparency and justice which include neutrality of police and security agencies.
“Again, United States is a partner with Nigeria and we strongly believe in the principles of free, fair, transparent and credible democratic process and elections before, during and after elections.”
It is not the first time the US government has expressed concerns regarding the present administration.
Last month, Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, condemned the violence against civilians in the North Central.”
The comment came days after up to 86 people were killed in Plateau, Jos.
“We are concerned by the recent increase in armed violence against civilians and call on all political and community leaders to lend their voices to peace and to work together to find lasting solutions to these rural conflicts,” Mrs Nauert said.
Following her statement, Nigeria’s President who was on a visit to Calabar, made an unscheduled visit to the affecting state, DENISAURUS News understands.
Mrs Nauert’s statement had apparently rattled the President, who wants to remain in office after the 2019 election.
President Muhammadu Buhari campaigned in 2015 with the promise to end the insecurity in the country and kill corruption. However under his watch, many have died and properties have been destroyed by suspected herdsmen.
Critics of the 75-year-old President have lambasted him for his slowness in tackling the crisis. Prominent Nigerians called on the former head of state not to seek a second term based on his failures to improve the economy, security, provide jobs and fight corruption adequately.
However, President Buhari announced before jetting off to the UK for medical treatment, his desire to fight the February 2019 elections.
DENISAURUS News learnt that the President is currently hoping to campaign on his integrity and the government’s achievement in fighting graft.
According to a source in the know of the development, it is why there is desperation to have Nigeria’s number three man, Senator Saraki convicted at all cost.
The Supreme Court acquitted Senator Saraki on allegation of false assets. Since then, the police reissued an order for him to answer more question on the Offa robbery, an allegation the lawmaker denies being involved in.
An act that resulted in Mr Young demanding for “neutrality” from the Nigerian Police Force.