“We have elections coming in 2019 and it is important that we play our role to ensure the security agencies allow Nigerians carry out their civic responsibility to go and vote. A situation where individuals are not allowed to carry out their vote is a recipe for disaster. We must prevent it,” Saraki said.
The Senate has ordered investigation into allegations of harrassment and arrests by the Nigerian Police during the bye-election held in Kwara State on Saturday.
The decision was taken during the plenary session held on Wednesday.
Senator Rafiu Ibrahim cited Order 14, stated that “On November 15, 2018 at 4:15pm, a police helicopter landed and offloaded some packages during the House of Representatives bye-election. All these were under the direct order of IG of Police.”
He also claimed that “less than 45% of registered voters showed up for the election because of the harassment and arrest going on. The DSS were protecting only members of the ruling party”.
After deliberation on the matter, the Senate resolved to “mandate the Committee on Police and National Intelligence to investigate the matter and report back to the Senate”.
In his comments on the incident, Senate President Bukola Saraki called on security agencies to play their roles to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
His words: “We must rise above partisan views. We have the responsibility as representatives of the people to ensure the election does not involve issues of harassment to the nation and the security operatives must be seen to be non partisan.
“It is very important that we ensure that our security agencies look into this matter not just because it has affected members of the Senate.
“We have elections coming in 2019 and it is important that we play our role to ensure the security agencies allow Nigerians carry out their civic responsibility to go and vote. A situation where individuals are not allowed to carry out their vote is a recipe for disaster. We must prevent it.
“An ad-hoc Committee should look into it and give us recommendations on how best to address this before next year because this is a matter of great importance and we must do something to call the security agencies to order so as to ensure free and fair elections.”