BY Samuel Akpan
The house of representatives has asked security agencies to be on alert to forestall possible breakdown of law and order following intelligence on a plot for an interim government.
The lower legislative chamber also warned “aggrieved parties to desist from heating the polity” and contest the election outcome through the court.
The green chamber passed the resolution during the plenary session on Tuesday following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Unyime Idem, a lawmaker representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency of Akwa Ibom.
Last week, the secret police said it had confirmed a plot to install an interim government and stop Bola Tinubu from being inaugurated as the president.
The DSS intelligence has since sparked a debate and mixed reactions, with Nigerians largely condemning the interim government plot.
While moving the motion, Idem said the interim government is unknown to the nation’s constitution and those calling for it are “enemies” of the country.
“Interim government is undemocratic, unconstitutional, and unknown to our laws as a court of competent jurisdiction had in time past so declared,” he said.
“The judiciary is the only institution empowered by law to adjudicate over post-election matters.”
The lawmaker said if the plot was allowed to see the light of day, it would throw the country into anarchy “with a price many generations after us will continue to pay for”.
Speaking against the motion, Sergius Ogun, a lawmaker from Edo, said the motion was a waste of legislative time and that security agencies should do their work.
The legislator said the security agencies were supposed to arrest and prosecute those behind the plot for an interim government rather than raising the alarm.
“I think the security agencies should do their work. If you are asking for a different government not known to law — it is a treasonable felony,” Ogun said.
“If this government is alive to its responsibilities, this should not even be an issue that we will be dissipating energy on in this house.
“Do we even have a government in this country? If the government cannot perform between now and May 28 they should resign and go. Because this is not even an issue we should be discussing here.”
Nicolas Ossai from Delta state said the DSS ought to have mentioned the names of those plotting for an interim government.
He said rather than debate the motion, heads of security agencies should be invited to brief the house to enable it to take an informed resolution.
In his remarks, Idris Wase, the presiding officer, said the DSS intelligence was not speculative.
“I did not want to believe that the state security services are being speculative,” he said.
“For good reasons, understand that we are under a democratic tenet, when they are mentioning this—the situation we have found ourselves, we must talk to ourselves to ensure the right thing is being done. If they had gone ahead to make an arrest, it would have been that the government in power is being repressive.
“It is not out of order to debate this, and back the security in their action to ensure stability. Nobody should associate or give leverage to any persons—at least we are aware of the demonstrations asking for that (interim government).”
The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to a voice vote by Wase.