Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Nigerian Deputy Senate President Raises Alarm over killing of Biafra Agitators

Amid public outcry against the military and police kill­ing of agitators on Mon­day during processions to mark the 49th anniversary of the decla­ration of Biafra Republic, the Sen­ate has failed to entertain any de­bate on the massacre.

Media reports indicate that over 50 pro-Biafra protesters, three policemen and a soldier were killed on Monday in clashes between the security agents and the agitators in some South East and South-South states.
When the matter was tabled before the Senate on Tuesday by the Deputy Senate President, Sen­ator Ike Ekweremadu, the Upper House refrained from discussing it.
Ekweremadu had condemned the security agents’ handling of the protests and urged them to apply caution in quelling such crises.
Acting under Order 43 of Sen­ate Rules, Ekweremadu had drawn the Senate’s attention to the blood­bath in the South East and South-South on Monday.
He said: “If you go through many newspapers this morning, the leading headlines refer to the death of many people both young men and security agents. I will like to use this opportunity under Order 43 to say that the security agents must apply caution in try­ing to quell disturbances.
“We have had so much of bloodbath in this country under different circumstances and we cannot continue to lose young men and women because the fu­ture of this country belongs to them.
“It is important that this Sen­ate rises to condemn any act of killing in any part of this country, especially with the one that con­cerns the major part of our future which remains the young men and women of this country,” he said.
According to him, “as a dem­ocratic nation, the people must be allowed to express their views in any form they choose without nec­essarily infringing on the freedom of others and that security agen­cies must be cautious in the way and manner they handle distur­bances without applying meas­ures that could lead to the loss of life and property.”
In his response to the mo­tion, the Senate President Abuba­kar Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary, condemned the incident but tactically refused to allow any debate on it.
He said: “Distinguished col­leagues, the Deputy Senate Presi­dent brought this to my attention in line with our rules on Order 43 on this unfortunate incident that has happened and as regards our rules, there cannot be any debate on it.
“But, I think that the point he has raised was to draw our atten­tion and see what necessary action will be taken in other to address this matter,” Saraki concluded.

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