By Bankole Wright
Senator Dino Melaye, has called for the declaration of a state-of-emergency in Kogi, saying there was insecurity and anarchy in the state. His call at the Senate plenary on Tuesday was against the backdrop of two alleged assassination attempts on his life. The Senator represents Kogi West.
Melaye, who came under Order 43 of Senate Standing Rule, prayed the senate to order the Inspector-General of Police to immediately undertake an audit of the police armoury in Kogi command. He said he would move a motion for the upper chamber to prevail on the Federal Government to impose emergency rule in the state. He claimed that before Gov. Yahaya Bello assumed office, Kogi never experienced the high number of kidnappings, killings and anarchy as being recorded currently. He said:
On Monday l left my village and arrived at Lokoja in the company of Directorate of State Services (DSS) operatives and Police. When I arrived at Lokoja, I phoned the state Director of DSS that I had an intelligence report that the governor brought in assassins to kill me and the DSS director provided a truckload of DSS men to accompany me. I also called the Commissioner of Police and we were halfway talking and the line went off and I put a call to the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Criminal Department. I told him that I was in town and that I had few places to go and I wanted to also go to the Federal Medical Centre to pay the bills of indigent civil servants.
He alleged that the patients could not pay the medical bills because the state government had not paid their salaries for 15 months, adding that some of them needed surgery. Melaye said that the Constitution empowered the President of Nigeria to issue proclamation of state of emergency in state, adding that there was breakdown of law and order and public safety in Kogi.
In his remark, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the plenary said:
- Speaking on behalf of this Senate, I must condemn what happened in Kogi. Section 14 (2) of the Constitution is very clear on the primary purpose of government which is the security and welfare of the people and government must not be seen abdicating that responsibility. So, I want to appeal to both State and Federal Government to ensure that the citizens are protected and also their property. We cannot have a situation where this government will sit by and watch people taking laws into their hands and behaving as if there is no law and order in this land. We need to be serious; we need to be firm. Government needs to ensure that people are not allowed to take laws into their hands and of course, the reckless statement that we are hearing from here and there. Government needs to do something about it. The unity of this country cannot be compromised and the security of individuals must be assured. This is condemn-able and we will never allow this to continue in a democratic society