NASS threatens Buhari with impeachment

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The National Assembly on Tuesday issued a veiled impeachment threat to President Muhammad Buhari in the wake of the prevailing rift between the Executive and the Legislative arms at the national level.

The feuding was exacerbated this week on account of allegation by the police that Senate President Bukola Saraki was complicit in the robbery of banks at Offa in Kwara State and killings 33 persons including nine police officers during the dastardly operation.

In a communique read out by Saraki at a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, on Tuesday, the legislature in a thinly veiled threat, threatened to impeach the president.

The communique reads in part:  “The Security Agencies must be given marching orders to curtail the sustained killings of Nigerians across the country and protect life and properties of Nigerians as this is the primary duty of any responsible Government.

“The systematic harassment and humiliation by the Executive of perceived political opponents, people with contrary opinions including Legislators and Judiciary by the police and other security agencies must stop.

“There must be strict adherence to the Rule of Law and protection for all citizens by the President and his appointees.

“The President must be held accountable for the actions of his appointees and must be ready to sanction those that carry out any act which will ridicule or endanger our country and democracy.

“The Government should show sincerity in the fight against corruption by not being selective also prosecute current appointees that have cases pending against them.

“The sanctity of the National Assembly should be protected and preserved the Federal Government of Nigeria by not interfering in its business and prosecuting those who invaded the Senate to seize the mace.

“National Assembly should liaise with International Communities through the IPU, APU, ECOWAS, CPA, Parliament, Pan African Parliament, EU, UN, US congress and UK Parliament to secure our democracy.

“Democratic elections must be competitive and inclusive by removing the present reign of fear and intimidation particularly as we approach the forthcoming 2019 elections.

“The National Assembly will work closely with Civil Society Organisations, Trade Unions and NGOs to further deepen and protect our democracy.

“The President must take immediate steps to contain the growing level of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria especially now that we have advantage of the oil price having risen to $80 per barrel.

“Both chambers of the National Assembly hereby pass a vote of confidence on the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the entire leadership of the National Assembly.

“We reaffirm our earlier resolution of vote of no confidence on the Inspector General of Police who does nothing other than preside over the killing of innocent Nigerian and consistent framing up of perceived political opponents of the President and outright disregard for constitutional authority, both executive and legislative.

“Finally, the National Assembly will not hesitate to evoke its Constitutional powers if nothing is done to address the above resolutions passed today.”

Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, has played down the threat saying it did not represent the view of the majority in both chambers.

Jibrin said, “Almost all the senators that spoke at the Executive Session are of the PDP, while members of the APC declined joining the discussion to avoid a rowdy confrontation as the entire session could easily pass for a PDP Executive Session. “It is commendable that the Speaker tactically refused to make any comment at the session even after the Senate President took time to explain the issues which are mostly personal.

“It is disturbing and raised many questions of pre-determined intentions that a known ally of the Senate President from Kwara State, Hon Rasak Atunwa drafted what was adopted as the resolution and without voting, against standard parliamentary practice.

“Most of the issues raised concerning the fight against corruption, insecurity and the rule of law have been severally discussed in the Senate and the House and various resolutions passed.

“We commend the efforts of Mr President in the fight against corruption, tackling of the insecurity challenges and respect for rule of law and democratic institutions. Mr President is known for his non-interference policy. “Every senator or member of House, who has corruption or criminal allegations against him or her, should clear his or her name without dragging the entire institution of the National Assembly into the matter.

“The National Assembly should as well look inward and address the issue of suffocating senators and members with dissenting or contrary opinion through coercion or extra legal means.

“The PDP should recall how its members in the 7th Assembly sat comfortably in the chamber and watched a sitting Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, locked out of the National Assembly and all his security personnel withdrawn, while APC members had to scale the fence to gain entrance into the National Assembly.

“We must exercise caution at this delicate period not to overheat the polity with statements that are capable of dividing the country, embarrassing us before the watching world and creating friction between the legislature, Executive and specifically, Mr President.

“We wish to reaffirm our support for Mr President as he works assiduously towards dealing with the challenges of Nigeria.”

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