By Clare Nwaiwu
Nigerians have heaped the blame for Wednesday’s invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS and the Nigeria Police on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
The security operatives stormed the National Assembly complex as early as 7am and barricaded the entrance. They barred lawmakers of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), staff of the Assembly and journalists from gaining entry into the complex.
The action of the security operatives, which has been described as a rape of the country’s democracy and threat to the rule of law, is seen as part of moves by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to forcibly remove the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, his deputy and the current leadership of both chambers from office following the recent gale of defection from ruling party.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””] “The DSS says the order to invade the National Assembly and imperil our democracy is from above and as at today in Nigeria, legally speaking, there is no other above ‘abover’ than the acting president. It shall one day be written on the footnote of history against his name that he supervised this rape of law”.[/penci_blockquote]
Although speculations of plans by the APC to get Saraki, now a member of the PDP, impeached and replaced by a senator of the APC extraction had made the rounds even before President Muhammadu Buhari began his ten day vacation, handing over the realms of power to Vice President Osinbajo, Nigeria are suggesting that Buhari’s hands may not be in this current move to undermine democracy using the nation’s security apparatus.
According to many Nigerians who took to the social media to vent their displeasure at the actions of the DSS and Police, there is a general consensus that Osinbajo should have welded his office as interim number one citizen, to halt the desecration of democracy by the security operatives, especially given his vast knowledge of the rule of law.
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A journalist, Emma Alozie wrote on his Facebook wall, “Let it be on record that what is taking place at the National Assembly now is not the handiwork of President Buhari, rather, that of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of law and above all, a pastor. President Buhari duly handed over to him. He is in charge or he should be in charge.
“The DSS says the order to invade the National Assembly and imperil our democracy is from above and as at today in Nigeria, legally speaking, there is no other above ‘abover’ than the acting president. It shall one day be written on the footnote of history against his name that he supervised this rape of law”.
Akintunde Adeniji, also writing, pointed out that Osinbajo should be held responsible for whatever happens to the country’s democracy while he superintends as the country’s acting president.
“I don’t think Acting President Yemi Osinbajo should just fold his arms and “sitdon” look. He is in charge and he should prove it. If he gave approval of this action of the security operatives then he will allow the full episode to play out. But if operatives did not get the order from him then he needs to assert himself, because he is in charge.
“The last time President Buhari travelled for medical vacation Nigerians were told that the acting president was always shuttling between Nigeria and UK to get orders and directives from Buhari who had already transmitted power to him. I hope it is not what is playing out again,” he said.