Uk’omu Igala, the umbrella organisation for all socio-cultural groups in Kogi East, has condemned in the strongest terms the invasion and mayhem on theKogi State House of Assembly Complex in Lokoja on August 1, by suspected political thugs.
In a statement signed by the National Leader of the foremost Igala group, Major General Patrick Akpa (rtd), the organisation described the attack as an “affront on democracy” and an “intimidation of a constitutional arm of government” in Kogi State. Uk’omu added that such affront should not be allowed to endure if the North-Central State must witness the highly-needed political and economic developments.
Major-General Akpa said, “The House of Assembly is the political body that represents the over two million people of Kogi State. They are the voices of the ordinary indigenes of the state who voted them to make law and serve as a check on the executive arm of government. This intimidation and assault on members of this constitutional body is a direct attack on all the people of Kogi State, a criminal act that should not go unchallenged.”
Though the State Government has called for a probe of the attack, Uk’omu Igala Organisation has urged the Presidency and the National Assembly to wade into the situation because an insult on democracy in any constituent part of Nigeria is an insult on the country’s democracy in totality.
The statement said, “The Acting President should set up a high-powered panel to investigate the mayhem carried out in the full glare of law enforcement agencies in Kogi State. The allegation that policemen drafted to the House of Assembly complex to forestall the foretold violence stood akimbo while thugs laid siege on the legislature, brutalised Hon Friday Sani Makama, a duly elected lawmaker, and disrupted the activities of the Assembly should not be allowed to go unpunished. The National Assembly should also investigate the criminal act and take appropriate steps that would prevent the re-occurrence of such intimidating act in future.”
The group called on the House of Assembly to rise to the challenge of playing its roles as the third arm of government in Kogi State. It said, “We call on the lawmakers to realise their role in the administration of Kogi State. They are there to make laws and to check the Executive arm of government. If they have ignored their own importance, sold their souls for a morsel of bread to other forces in the state, they would have themselves to blame. A situation in which the Assembly has become subservient, and acquiesce to the whim and caprices of other arms of government would embolden their sponsors to violate their rights and powers as lawmakers.”
It said further, “We welcome the resignation of controversial Speaker Umar Ahmed Imam after the mayhem and call on the newly-elected Speaker of the House, Hon. Matthew Kolawole, to provide a dynamic leadership that would position the Assembly as a truly independent arm of government in Kogi State. If not, this stock of lawmakers would go down in history as those who failed their people in this turbulent dispensation in the political history of the state.”