The upper chamber of the National Assembly, however, rejected the call by Melaye that police deployment of 30,000 men in Ekiti State to monitor the governorship election on Saturday should be investigated.
Melaye, at the plenary on Wednesday, raised a point of order to condemn the police for deploying such a huge number of men in a state for an election when Nigerians were being killed by armed herdsmen and militias in other states.
He said, “I read with fear that 30,000 policemen were drafted to Ekiti to observe, monitor and provide security for the governorship election. I wonder why the crises in Zamfara, Dapchi, Chibok, Taraba, Benue, Jos have not attracted 30,000 policemen, where Nigerians have been consistently killed.”
Interrupting Melaye, Senator Oluremi Tinubu raised a point of order to point out that the Kogi senator was not in the seat allotted to him and his motion should not be entertained.
Melaye had recently demanded the relocation of his seat from the majority All Progressives Congress section of the chamber to the minority Peoples Democratic Party section.
Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, however, argued that the presiding officer was empowered to exercise discretion to recognise a lawmaker from any sitting position.
Melaye continued, “Election is important but not more than the lives of Nigerians. I am bringing this to the notice of the Senate because we swore before men and God to uphold the content and letters of the Constitution. The United Nation, the United States, the United Kingdom, international organisations and civil societies must seriously observe the election in Ekiti.
“Not only that; as part of my prayers, the police need to furnish this Senate with service numbers and names of the 30,000 officers deployed in Ekiti as well as where they were deployed from and where they were deployed in. As I speak this morning, the Government House in Ekiti is under a siege by the Nigeria Police. The campaign officer of the PDP candidate is surrounded by policemen. We cannot, as senators, sit down and allow democracy to become ‘militocracy.’ If we die defending the Constitution and human rights, we have died well.”
The senator also announced that the security operatives attached to him had been withdrawn since he had a case with the police. He said efforts by him to get security detail from the police and other security agencies failed.
Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, put the prayers to voice vote. Before then, he described the issue of “personal safety” of Melaye as “critical.”
“He said his security was withdrawn and his life is under threat. It is not something we will gloss over,” Ekweremadu stated.