The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who was received like a hero weekend in Enugu as he came back from Abuja, said that the beauty of democracy was dialogue. Ekweremadu said this to an unprecedented crowd that received him in Enugu after his ordeal on Tuesday in Abuja where security operatives were said to have laid siege to his official residence to prevent him from leaving his house for the plenary on the floor of the Senate.
“The beauty of democracy was dialogue to resolve issues and not recourse to persecution and intimidation,” he said.
Speaking on his ordeal and that of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Ekweremadu said that what was meted out to them was tantamount to assault on democracy which is contrary to dialogue and the rule of law.
Ekweremadu, who said that about 200 security personnel besieged his house, pointed out that Nigeria needed to have a peaceful change of government that could stop the killings and wastage of lives and property.
He also said that Nigeria needed a country where people would be free to go about their businesses without molestation.
“We need a country where court orders will be obeyed. We are looking for a situation where people will be free to do their businesses anywhere in Nigeria without molestation,” he said.
Talking on the implication of keeping him indoors, Ekweremadu said that if they had succeeded in caging him and the Senate President, they would have removed them, pointing out that the evil intent of the
siege was to prevent the mass defection of the lawmakers that cross-carpeted.
The Deputy Senate President also said that he came down to Enugu so that the people, his political supporters would know that, “I am alive”.
His described the siege as that of caging Daniel in the den of lions, from which he eventually came out unscathed.
National Assembly members from Enugu State who were present at the solidarity rally were Toby Okechukwu; Kingsley Ebenyi; Emeka Ujam and Dennis Amadi, all of whom also condemned the several attacks on
Ekweremadu which they said were against the tenets of democracy.
Speaking on behalf of the crowd of supporters of the Deputy Senate President, Alex Ogbonna, president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu
State, said that what happened to Ekweremadu was a sign that democracy was tilting towards tyranny.
“I personally look at it as a drift towards tyranny. It is dictatorship,” Ogbonna said, lamenting that over time they have been persecuting Ekweremadu in many fronts since he reemerged as the deputy Senate president.
He however, said that they would not tolerate anything happening to Ekweremadu, pointing out that should anything happen to him, they will not take it lightly.
“Let nothing happen to Ekweremadu because it will not be taken lightly. We have gathered here in solidarity. We are with him and he is doing what he is supposed do,” he said.
Regis Anukwuoji, Enugu