The deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, has responded to criticisms that he called for a military coup to displace the ruling government.
“I never called for a military coup. I never said the military was planning any coup. Even the military’s statement admitted that my statement was only cautionary and that we were sincere,” he said, while on a visit to Bayelsa governor Seriake Dickson last weekend.
“Of course, some people took it out of context and said I was calling for a military coup,” he said. “I hold the Nigerian army and the armed forces in high regard. They have defended our democracy, our people and have acquitted themselves creditably.
“If they need anything now, it is encouragement because this is not the best of times for them. But we do hope that when parliamentarians make statements, the military should be able to know exactly what was said before reacting so that we don’t overheat the system.”
Ekweremadu caused an uproar on Wednesday during the senate’s plenary when he averred that the country’s democracy “is receding” and said it is not unlikely for the military to take over. He made the the remarks during a debate on a motion sponsored by Sen. Ahmed Ogembe, Kogi central, over alleged anti-democratic actions of the governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello.