National chairmen and other leaders of 45 opposition political parties on Thursday raised the alarm over an alleged plot by a government agency to freeze the bank accounts of the Senate and Senate President Bukola Saraki.
The parties raised the alarm during a solidarity visit to the Senate President in the Senate building in Abuja on Thursday.
The National Chairman of the National Unity Party, Chief Perry Okpara, who led the delegation and spoke on behalf of the group, said they were aware of the plot and warned against it.
Okpara, who did not name the government agency that was behind the plot, said, “We have it on good authority that there are moles in the Senate and there are moves to freeze the accounts of the Senate, Senate President, and governors.”
The moves, he said, was aimed at crippling the parliament and forcing a leadership change in the National Assembly.
Okpara said, “We wish to alert Nigerians to a new plot by the same people, whose first shameful attempt to unlawfully overthrow the leadership of the National Assembly failed; an attempt, which brought Nigeria to bad international limelight.
“We have it on good authority that a fresh plot is being hatched to make another attempt to cripple the parliament in the guise of impeachment, even when they know that there is not a constitutional majourity to achieve the sinister move.
“We wish to state that we, the chairmen and leaders of political parties, will not support or standby to watch any unconstitutional impeachment of the leadership of the National Assembly.”
Okpara, who didn’t name the agency, warned that political parties would not sit by and watch the country slide into anarchy, where life had become short, brutish and lawless.
He added, “Nigeria is gradually turning into a failed state and all the institutions of state have been compromised and desecrated. This is the time to rise in defence of democratic values and nationhood.”
The parties condemned the use of the police, Department of State Services and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to clamp down on the opposition, the leadership of the National Assembly and also to lay siege to state assemblies.
“Today, our country is facing the challenges of pervasive insecurity, massive joblessness, and unemployment, ethnic irredentism and disunity. We enjoin the National Assembly to use its constitutionally guaranteed powers to legislate to arrest the slide; to give the country a new direction and create hope for our countrymen and women,” he pleaded.
Okpara also disassociated the 45 parties from what he called an attempt by the Accord Party to undermine the constitutional powers of the National Assembly.
He said, “We note that the courts have rejected attempts by the Accord Party to undermine the constitutional powers of the National Assembly to undermine the sequence of elections. We, the majourity of the political parties, disassociate ourselves from that inglorious attempt.”
In his response, Saraki expressed the hope that those behind the plot to destabilise the National Assembly by forcing an illegitimate leadership change have learnt their lesson from the resistance put up by Nigerians during the invasion of the National Assembly by officials of the DSS.
He said, “I hope that the anti-democratic forces have learnt their lesson in the past few days. We in the National Assembly will continue to follow due process and the rule of law.”
The political parties that attended the meeting were the United Democratic Party; Rebuild Nigeria Party, People for Democratic Change, Peoples Party of Nigeria, Progressives Peoples Party, Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria, Alliance for Democracy, and Young Democratic Party, among others.