The Peoples Democratic Party has called on the National Assembly to urgently save democracy by curbing the anti-democratic tendencies of the Kwara State House of Assembly and its Speaker, Yakubu Salihu-Danladi.
The PDP made the appeal while reacting to the travails of its only elected member in the Kwara State House of Assembly, Raheem Agboola, representing the Ilorin South Constituency, who was on Wednesday barred from attending legislative sittings for 14 days after serving a six-month suspension.
The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary in the state, Tunde Ashaolu, stated that democracy was currently under siege in the state Assembly as it was being held captive by the legislators.
The statement read in part, “It is regrettable and disappointing when the Kwara PDP learned that gross injustice had yet again prevailed at the Kwara State House of Assembly as the only opposition party members in the house, AbdulRaheem Agboola, is being denied entry into the House.
“The decision of the leadership of the House to ‘reprimand’ Agboola by suspending him for 14 legislative days over baseless accusations of contempt and breach of privilege of the House is a great insult to the cognition of Kwarans. It is easy to lay accusations, but it is another thing to present evidence to back it up, something the House failed to do all this while.
The PDP said it would be a horrendous mistake on the part of the House members to think that Agboola would be a soft target for them to pick on due to his numerical disadvantage, but they should have it in mind that he was there to represent thousands of people of his constituency.
It said for two successive days, Agboola was denied entry into the sitting chamber of the state Assembly after several abortive attempts, with no reasonable reason given for the action.
The party added, “It was also gathered that this latest access denial by the security personnel at the entry to the chamber was done at the behest of the Speaker of the House, Salihu Yakubu-Danladi.
Many will recall the episode that happened not so long ago last December; the same Agboola, who had been on suspension for six months, was assaulted by his own colleagues right inside the sitting chamber of the House.
“That was not even enough as he is now being denied entry into the House on the day that the state budget is going through its second reading; a House he was voted into by his people, just like other members, despite having no constitutional right to impede him from entering the House.
“What exactly is this government trying to hide from the people of the state, because the House is now becoming more like a cult, whereby people that don’t belong to a particular party are not allowed into the House, which belongs to the entirety of Kwara.
“Because every time the executive and the legislature are about to discuss anything that concerns the finances of the state on issues like the bond application, budget and supplementary budget, they always try to exclude Agboola; even now, he is the only member of the House that wasn’t given a copy of the budget.
“The height of it all now is that the lawmaker’s seat on the floor of the House has been removed; it is really disappointing that these revered members of the society could reduce themselves to such a level of pettiness.”