CAN cautions Buhari over crackdown on Saraki, Ekweremadu

Rev. Samson Ayokunle, the president, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has called on the Presidency and the leadership of National Assembly not to do anything capable of threatening the survival of Nigeria’s democracy.

Mr Ayokunle made the call in a statement signed by Adebayo Oladeji, spokesman to the CAN president, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The call was in reaction to the police actions of barricading the official residences of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu in the early hour of Tuesday.

He urged the presidency to be wary of actions capable of affecting or truncating the democratic institutions adversely.

“We express grave concerns over the poor handling of police’s invitation to the President of the Senate and the alleged plan by the EFCC to arrest his deputy over alleged money laundering.

“The Christian umbrella body condemns in strong terms the way and manner the police were deployed in subjecting the leadership of the National Assembly to needless embarrassment and harassment,” he said.

Mr Ayokunle noted that with every sense of responsibility that the only difference between democracy and dictatorship is the presence or absence of the National Assembly.

“CAN needs to remind the Nigeria Police that once a suspect has been invited to any of its offices, the best international practice is to exercise patience until the invitee fails to honour such an invitation,” he said.

He said the Nigeria Police were supposed to be neutral in order to ensure the survival of democracy.

“We call on both leadership of the National Assembly and the Presidency to stop acting in a manner that constitutes embarrassment to the nation.

“It is needless to remind the legislative and executive arms of government to work in synergy for the interest of our nation’s democracy,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the senate president was invited by the police to give more statement on his alleged involvement in the Offa robbery saga that led to the death of over 30 people.

“It is in line with the above that you are requested to report to the head of the Investigation Team at the Intelligence Response Team at Guzape Junction, Asokoro Extension, Abuja on 24th of July, 2018 at 8a.m for further investigation on the matter,” the police said.

In a response, Mr Saraki described the invitation as a mere afterthought which was designed to achieve political purpose.