The Sudden Silence Of The Senate Over IPOB
Nigeria News examine the role of the senate in the Abia’s IPOB, Soldiers crisis.
The Nigerian senate has been silent recently. It does not dabble into the Abia State crisis between the Nigerian Army and the Indigenous People of Biafra.
The senate is seen more in its engagement with the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay over his statement against the lawmakers.
Apart from the senate caucus, representing southeast, the National Assembly has been silent over Abia crisis.
It did not ask question why the Federal Government would deploy troops to the place without seeking its consent.
It did not summon the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Turkur Buratai over the role of Operation Pythons Dance II in the Southeast; neither did the senate summon the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris for failing to curtail the excesses of the IPOB.
While the senate caucus condemned the alleged invasion of the troops, the larger body of the senate had kept quiet.
At present, the southeast governors have proscribed the activities of IPOB while the Nigerian Army designated it as terrorist group.
According to findings, the three arms of government that is the executive, judiciary and the legislature are supposed to involve in the process of dispatching soldiers to an area and also designating such group as terrorists if there is any need to do so.
During the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, an Islamic group, which later developed to become Boko Haram had come up in the same manner but the government failed to nip in the bud the activities of the insurgents.
After several attacks on innocent citizens in Borno and Abuja, the government then thought it wise to declare the state of emergency in the state. Jonathan also deployed troops to the place to stop the killings by Boko Haram.
However before he could declare state of emergency in Borno, the government sought the approval of the senate, which was eventually granted.
Perhaps that was what made Okezie Ikpeazu to impose three-day-curfew in Abia to prevent the Federal Government from declaring state of emergency in Abia.
Yes the senate has been silent and it is an indication that the leadership of the upper house is trying to save its skin.
One of the loudest voices among the lawmakers, Senator Dino Melaye has been very silent. He is fighting a personal battle with his constituents to retain his seat at the senate.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki has been silent and this may not be unconnected with the plot by his constituents to recall him.
It is obvious from the inception of the eighth assembly that Melaye is Saraki’s stooge but now that both are trying to save their skins, the senate has remained so quiet.
Last week, a Federal High Court Abuja granted the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC the right to continue with the process of recalling Melaye. The lawmaker had since sought solace at the Court of Appeal, his move to stop INEC may not succeed.