Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Search Tambuwal, Why Not?

editorial

IT is time we decided what we want as a people. We are all upset about the unflagging security situation in Nigeria. When moves are made to take serious measures, we pull our privileges cards to insinuate we have been insulted.

The National Assembly would waste time debating the search conducted on the official vehicle of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Waziri Tambuwal at a security conference in Kaduna. The House of Representatives considers it a harassment of the Speaker, an assault on his office. Tambuwal did the right thing by trekking from that point to the conference venue.

If he felt slighted, he knew who to make reports to about the incident. He has been one of the most vocal advocates of improved security measures since insurgents started ravaging our country. Why would he object to the measures being applied to him, as an individual, even to his office?

How safe do the promoters of the Office of the Speaker above security think we would be if our security checks were reduced to "waving on" personalities. Suppose insurgents discover the lapses in this setting and explore them? Has the House of Representatives run out of issues of "national importance" that the Speaker's privileges would be the centre of national focus?

The same divisive approach has been applied to the arrest of 486 people in Abia State, some of whom are people on the wanted list. Instead of praising the Nigerian Army for its vigilance, some have turned around to abuse the Abia State Government, as if the army is the State's.

We have consistently condemned the maltreatment security agents give people, whether they are governors or the governed. Many have been killed at checkpoints by overzealous security agents over minor disagreements. These matters do not receive attention at the National Assembly.

Those Nigerians are not privileged enough to have their dignity and lives protected. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is maintained at public cost, on the other hand, is to be treated better than others.

Since we are a people versed in comparing our democracy with others', have we not seen President Barack Obama on queues, showing his identity card?

Is there anything super human about us? Security agents must do their jobs thoroughly. It is equally important the rights of individuals are respected, not because of their positions and privileges, but because they are human beings, with rights our Constitution awards.

We should think more of using our offices and the privileges they bear to protect our people, who we are in office to serve. Tambuwal should make official protest of the incident to appropriate authorities, not the media.

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