By Tordue Salem – Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, caucus in the House of Representatives, has threatened to drag the Federal Government to the International Criminal Court, ICC, over the killing of scores of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos State, a few days ago.
The PDP caucus led by Rep. Kingsley Chinda (Rivers), after an emergency meeting to review the state of the nation, made the threat.
The Caucus also reiterated their call for a change of security chiefs and the need for true federalism.
“Mindless killing of Nigerians (their Constituents) who were already demonstrating against unresolved cases of extrajudicial murders orchestrated by government forces and commiserates with families of all those including policemen who lost their lives whilst praying for the repose of their souls.
“The PDP caucus wonders why the leadership of the nation, instead of heeding to citizens call for responsive leadership would resort to watching machinery of state sniff life out of harmless agitators, in a decade of reasonable engagement and citizens participation has become a courted virtue in other climes. The caucus calls for the withdrawal of the military from the streets of Lagos and other parts of the country where human rights’ abuses are reported.
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“The PDP caucus agrees that there is need to rejig our abusive implementation of Federalism, calling to mind the need to engender a national conversation by adopting the 2014 National Conference report for consideration by the National Assembly, as well as constitutional amendment to divest power and resources from the centre to States and Local Government Areas.”
The lawmakers urged President Muhamadu Buhari to: “Set up a National Judicial Panel of enquiry into citizen’s grievances, establish a National compensation fund for victims of the police brutality; an unemployment benefit fund to be contributed by the three levels of government to cushion the biting effect of the downward economic realities in the country.”
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The Caucus also advised the President to immediately order the arrest and prosecution of officers involved in the Lekki killing and urgently rejig the nation’s security architecture through commendable reforms and appointment of more competent service chiefs, to handle the pile-up of security challenges confronting the nation.
“The caucus calls on the President to urgently address Nigeria on the strategies of the government towards tackling the issues with timelines.
“The caucus finally resolved that where the President fails to take decisive and satisfactory action within a reasonable time, the caucus shall consider and activate legislative actions to salvage the situation and ensure that all those involved in the killings face a criminal trial at the International Criminal Court.”
The caucus also “appealed to Nigerian Youths to be peaceful in their agitation for a better country, assuring that the Caucus will do all in its power to ensure the evolution of an egalitarian society for the common good of all.”