Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the invasion of the Senate chamber by hoodlums and the carting away of the mace, the symbol of authority.
Reacting to the incident in a statement from his media office in Abuja on Wednesday, Atiku described the attack as “a dangerous precedent” and “an assault on Nigeria’s democracy” by anti-democratic elements.
“I am utterly embarrassed, shocked and outraged by this ugly development because it is not only a threat to a major democratic institution, but it also represents a grave danger to the survival of our democracy,” he said.
Atiku said that, given the tension in the country, the timing of the attack could not have come at a worse time for Nigeria; and that using illegal and unconstitutional methods to threaten the authority of a key democratic institution is unacceptable, evil, and condemnable.
The former vice-president noted that it was inconceivable that hoodlums could force their way into the Senate and take away the mace.
“If criminals could commit such security breach with impunity, it means that our entire democracy is in danger,” Atiku said; warning “those behind this illegality to avoid creating a monster that could consume them.”
Abubakar reminded Nigerians that so many people died in order to bring this democracy about, calling for immediate investigation into the incident and the prompt prosecution of those involved.
“It is unacceptable and reprehensible to subject the National Assembly to this intimidation and humiliation. This attack by thugs should not go unpunished, no matter who is involved,” he added.
He urged “those pushing the county’s political temperature to dangerous levels” to desist from it, saying, “they are playing Russian roulette with Nigeria’s hard-earned democracy.”
He, however, called for unity, calm and an end to the culture of “political disunity that is tearing our dear country apart.”