The House of Representatives has mandated the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, to investigate the attack on the campaign trail of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Kogi Central, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, and prosecute those responsible.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion co-sponsored by Sergius Ogun (Edo, PDP) and three other lawmakers condemning the attack as an act of political intolerance that should not be allowed.
In his lead debate, Ogun, who called for House’s intervention, observed that Section 14(2b) of the 1999 Constitution provides that the security and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government.
His words: “The House is aware that Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his or her interests.
“Section 42 of the Constitution provides that a citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political affiliation shall not be subjected to any form of discrimination.”
According to him, the House was informed that on December 3, 2022, suspected political thugs attacked the campaign train of Akpoti-Uduaghan during her rally from Okene to Adavi, injuring several persons and shooting one person.
“The House is worried that despite the avowed commitment of the Federal Government to implement the 35 per cent Affirmative Action, discrimination against women seeking elective posts still exists in the country. The House is disturbed that at a time all relevant stakeholders are suing for peace and calling on political actors to be tolerant of opposition, thugs and hoodlums, suspected to be sponsored by the opposition, audaciously attack the campaign train of the senatorial candidate of a political party,” he noted.
While stressing that political intolerance should not be tolerated, the House urged the IGP to investigate the attack and prosecute those directly and remotely responsible for it.
To this end, the House mandated the committees on Police Affairs and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action. (The Guardian)