Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President, has denied reports that he called for a military coup in Nigeria.
Speaking at the Diepreye Alaimeyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Saturday, Ekweremadu said his comments on the floor of the Senate were misunderstood.
Ekweremadu said, “Before I close, let me just tell you one unfortunate incident that happened last week. We had one of our colleagues from Kogi who was hosting a constituency briefing and empowerment programme. He alleged that the government-sponsored thugs to come and chase away people and disrupt the programme and destroy equipment he bought for his people.
“We condemned such acts, especially wherein a particular case, the property of a parliamentarian was destroyed. We condemned a case whereby parliamentarians were stopped from holding meetings and where a parliamentarian was stopped from coming to a state where he was governor for eight years.
“We warned that it was this kind of reckless abuse of power and impunity that scuttled our democracy earlier, especially in the first republic and I cautioned that politicians should not take things for granted. Of course, some people took it out of context and said I was calling for a military coup. I never called for a military coup. I never said the military was planning any coup.”
It would be recalled that Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters last week urged the citizens to disregard the alleged apprehension created by the Deputy Senate President that the military could still take over power as delivered in his speech during a plenary session.
Ekweremadu, however, explained over the weekend that his remark was directed to his fellow politicians against repeating the mistakes of the past which inevitably led to the abrupt end of the First Republic, and not the military.
He said he holds the military in high esteem and would never make derogatory statements against the armed forces.