Biodun Olujimi

Members of the opposition parties in the National Assembly have alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress has perfected fresh plans to start intimidating, arresting and jailing some of their outspoken colleagues.

The federal lawmakers, who spoke in separate interviews with our correspondents, on Tuesday said the plan was to keep them out of circulation ahead of the February 16 presidential election.

They vowed to initiate motions on the floors of both chambers of the National Assembly on resumption to prevent the Federal Government from using security agencies to clamp down on the opposition legislators.

Speaking on behalf of her colleagues, the Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, said the Federal Government was no longer comfortable with the growing popularity of the opposition, hence the latest action.

She noted that the clampdown would soon start with the planned arraignment of Senator Dino Melaye.

The senator lamented that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had deliberately frustrated all efforts to secure an audience with him on Melaye’s matter.

She said, “We will revisit the resolution we passed on the floor of the Senate on Senator Melaye’s travails when we resume next week because as it is, they want to make it a crime to belong to the opposition.

“I have been making efforts to secure an appointment with the IG. I called his telephone numbers many times, but I couldn’t talk to him.

“I had also made unsuccessful attempts to see the IG more than 10 times. It is impossible for anybody from the opposition to get the IG either on phone or in the office. This is not good in the interest of the nation.”

Olujimi said the Senate would, apart from revisiting its resolution passed on the matter last year, also on resumption, initiate legal actions to save members of the opposition parties in the federal parliament.

Another opposition senator from the North West geopolitical zone, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Federal Government was not comfortable with the growing opposition against it.

He said, “They are prepared at all cost to silent lawmakers who they failed to stop from getting party tickets to contest the February elections.

“They believe that by arresting and jailing members of the opposition, candidates of the APC would win elections in the constituencies; but we are ready for them.”

Also at the House of Representatives, members of the opposition stated that the rule of law must be followed by the Buhari-led administration in dealing with the federal lawmakers.

Speaking to one of our correspondents, the Minority Leader, Mr Leo Ogor, said the opposition was not afraid of intimidation.

Asked if it was true that the opposition was being suppressed, Ogor said, “I can’t say really; but whatever happens, definitely, the law must take its course.

“Whether wrong or right, we believe that in the long run, the law will take its course. We are not afraid of anything. The law must take its course.”

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