The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday rejected a motion to request details of the 30, 000 police officers deployed for the Ekiti governorship election.
The police on Sunday said it drafted 30, 000 of its officers to provide security in the election slated for Saturday.
The matter was first raised at the Senate on Tuesday when the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and Deputy Majority Leader, Ibn Na’Allah, questioned the deployment on the ground that such were not drafted to places under attack across the country.
On Wednesday, Dino Melaye (Kogi West), asked his colleagues to request for the names, service numbers and details of their deployment for the election.
“As a Nigerian, I am appalled that Nigeria Police can provide 30, 000 policemen for a 16 local government state. Then one begins to wonder that to conduct a presidential election, you will need 30, 000 policemen times 36 state plus the FCT. It means we will need 11 million plus policemen. The implication is that we will have to go to other West African states to hire policemen,” he said.
He was cut short by Francis Alimikhena who asked the presiding officer, Ike Ekweremadu, to cause Mr Melaye to go back to the seat allocated to him. He was ruled out of order.
Mr Melaye continued, “I wonder why the crises in Zamfara, Chibok, Taraba, Benue have not attracted 30, 000 policemen. Where the life of Nigerians have been consistently killed.”
He was again interrupted by Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) who, citing order 11, asked Mr Ekweremadu to return Mr Melaye to his seat.
“A senator may only speak from the seat allotted to him provided that the President of the Senate may change the allocation from time to time,” she read.
She was also ruled out of order by Mr Ekweremadu.
“The President of the Senate allowed him to sit in that place in the presence of every senators, so, I respectfully ruled you out of order,” Mr Ekweremadu said.
Mr Melaye again continued.
“Election is very important but not as important as the lives of Nigerians as enshrined in the Constitution. We will not as senators allow democracy to turn to militocracy.”
He said the Government House in Ekiti and campaign office of PDP candidate were under siege by policemen.
The senator also reported to his colleagues that he had been denied of security since the start of his ordeal with the Nigeria Police.
“I want to announce also to the Senate that while we ask that Nigerians be defended, we also ask that we be defended. I announced that the police withdrew policemen attached to me even before I was arrested. Till date Mr President, I have no single security. I applied to the Civil Defence two months ago, Civil Defence again have been instructed not to provide me with security. As a citizen, not even as a senator, Mr President by his oath of office is to protect me.”
In his prayers, he asked that “the police furnish the Senate with the names, police service number of 30, 000 policemen in Ekiti, including where they are deployed from and deployed to.”
He also wanted ‘the Senate to ask the police and Civil Defence to provide security’ for him.
His first prayer was countered by Kabir Marafa (Zamfara-APC) who said requesting for details of officers is not a matter within the Senate’s jurisdiction.
“I don’t think we can reduce this chamber to doing police work because what Dino Melaye requested for is entirely the business of the police. From the time we start asking to give us names and numbers of policemen they post to carry out certain responsibilities, I think we have reduced this chamber to the lowest, barest minimum therefore, I oppose this prayer.”
After two voice votes, the lawmakers rejected the prayer to request details of officers in Ekiti while endorsing the call to allow Dino Melaye access security.