Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, has distanced himself from an alleged statement insinuating that he was calling for a military takeovet in the country.
Ekweremadu who spoke over the weekend at the Diepreye Alaimeyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Onopa during a dinner hosted by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for members of rge Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, maintained that his commentd on the floor of the Senate were misconstrued.
While stressing that he would never make derogatory statements against the Nigerian military which he said remains one of the best fighting forces in the continent, the Senate number two man explained that statements made by lawmakers in the course of their duty should be situated within the proper context before any form of reaction.
According to him parliamentarians, have a duty to continue to defend democracy in the country, arguing that the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is the parliament which should ordinarily provide direction for the sustenance of democracy.
Ekweremadu maintained that his remarks on the floor of the Senate chambers were to caution his colleague politicians to avoid the mistakes of the past which inevitably led to the abrupt end of the first republic.
“Before I close, let me just tell you one unfortunate incident that happened last week. We had one of our colleagues from Kogi who was hosting a constituency briefing and empowerment. He alleged that the government sponsored thugs to come and chase away people and destroy the programme and equipment he bought for his people.
We condemned such acts, especially where in a particular case, the property of a parliamentarian was destroyed. We condemned a case whereby parliamentarians were stopped from holding meetings and where a parliamentarian was stopped from coming to a state where he was governor for eight years.
“We warned that it was this kind of reckless abuse of power and impunity that scuttled our democracy earlier, especially in the first republic and I cautioned that politicians should not take things for granted.
“Of course, some people took it out of context and said I was calling for a military coup. I never called for a military coup. I never said the military was planning any coup. If you read some parts of the military statement, they admitted that my statement and contribution were only cautionary and that we were sincere, but they went as far as saying that the international community should ignore me”, Ekweremadu said.