The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s caucus in the House of Representatives has called on Nigerians to urge their representatives in the National Assembly to begin the impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians.
The lawmakers caucus stated this in a statement by its leader, Kingsley Chinda, on Sunday evening.
Mr Chinda was reacting to the recent killing of farmers in Zabarmari area of Borno State, adding that the reactions of the presidency and the military to such killings, “highlight a certain crassness and lame duck attitude that has for the past five years come to define the Buhari presidency.”
PREMIUM TIMES had last week reported how 43 rice farmers in the North East were killed by Boko Haram terrorists.
The attack was mostly on rice farmers in Zabarmari, a community in Jere local government area in Borno State, with residents saying at least 43 farmers were killed.
But Mr Chinda in his statement said it was disheartening to the PDP caucus that the President has failed to lead Nigerians from the front as he promised.
“Nigerians are daily and defencelessly killed by terrorists and bandits, while the economy is being freely bleeded by public officers,” he said.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives wants Nigerians to compel their representatives in the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari for gross incompetence and persistent and continuous breach of Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution.”
The Section provides “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government; …”
“The PDP caucus also wants members of the Federal Executive Council to invoke the provisions of Section 144 (1) of the Constitution by declaring that the President is incapable of discharging the functions of the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
‘You Are On Your Own’
Reacting to the statement, the spokesperson of the House, Benjamin Kalu, described Chindo’s call as the opinion of an individual member and not that of the entire house.
He stated this in a rejoinder sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday morning.
He accused Mr Chinda of calling for the impeachment because the president addressed the house following his recent invitation, a step he attributed to the diplomacy of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
“This opinion of a single member of the opposition party in the house has been misinterpreted by journalists as the voice of the entire House of Representatives when it does not represent the weakest opinion of the minority-caucus of the 9th House,” be said.
“The motive behind this press release as well as the timing leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of most progressives who were instructed by their constituents to request for an interaction with the president, a task many thought was not possible seeing that in the history of our modern democracy none of the past presidents obliged the parliamentary request for an interactive session and none of the past leaderships of the assembly was able to use parliamentary back channel diplomacy, adopted and applied by the current leadership to secure the acceptance of Mr. President to this invitation; an outing that has strengthened our democratic principles.”
“If this call came post-President’s visit for the failure to dialogue well enough in securing solutions or due to his inability to put our positions to use, it would appear logical. Unfortunately, this call is not only illogical, it appears as a tool mischievously thrown up to disrupt the agenda of the coming visit with all it sets out to achieve in the spirit of nation building which remains the mantra of the 9th Assembly and is considered a joint task.
“In the view of the 9th Assembly, it would remain a call made wrongfully to distract the members whose minds are set on the visit and the expected achievements.
“It is surprising that Hon Kingsley Chinda was among those who insisted on the invitation of the president, probably expecting a gross disregard from the president who surprisingly broke the jinx and kindly obliged our request.
“Is it not obvious that apparently shocked by the acceptance of Mr. President, he is on a new lonely voyage of personal agenda strange to the legislative agenda of the House and leadership? Where was his constitutional impeachment voice when his previous presidents of PDP extractions were invited but ignored the House? One wonders why he is just remembering his constitution now that a president is coming to accept our inputs to the solutions he is seeking.”
Mr Kalu also urged Nigerians to be patient and wait for the outcome of the engagement between the House and the president.
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