Buhari responds to Senators’ impeachment threat, calls emergency security meeting
President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned an emergency meeting of the National Security Council for Thursday, as a response to threats by Nigeria’s Senators to impeach him over worsening security situations in the country.
Senators in Nigeria on Wednesday threatened to impeach the Buhari over his seeming inability to curb the worsening insecurity situation in the country.
The angry senator, who are in the opposition, gave the President a six-week ultimatum to address the security crisis or face impeachment proceedings.
But, the presidency in a statement by the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, described the action of the opposition senators as babyish, advising them to put their time to better use.
The impeachment moves against Buhari began when the Senate minority leader and the senator representing the FCT, Philip Aduda, raised a point of order for the Senate to deliberate on issues raised at the closed-door session which lasted for two hours.
The Senate president, after the session, announced that issues relating to smooth running of the Senate and unity in Nigeria were deliberated upon but instructed the leader of the Senate to proceed with items listed on the order paper.
Angered by the development, Aduda raised a point of order, calling for deliberation on issues discussed at the closed-door session.
He said, “Mr President, I raised this point of order to bring to the front burner, issues deliberated upon at the closed-door session.
“Resolution made by all Senators at the closed-door session which lasted for two hours was to further deliberate on it in plenary and arrive at a resolution to give President Muhammadu Buhari ultimatum on an urgent basis to stop the worsening security situation or face impeachment.”
The Senate president quickly interrupted him by saying that his point of order fell flat on its face since he didn’t discuss it with him.
Lawan in his ruling said, “Minority leader, when you’re going to come under a point of order, first, you’re supposed to cite the order.
“Secondly, you’re supposed to discuss with me what you’re going to raise on the floor. You didn’t. Thirdly, we have already passed that stage. So, at this moment, I really don’t know what the point of order is, as such it falls flat on its face.”
He, thereafter, instructed the leader of the Senate to proceed with items on the order paper.
In response to the development, all the Senators across the opposition parties led by Aduda stormed out of the chamber chanting, “All we are saying, Buhari must go. Nigeria must survive. Ahmad Lawan should follow.”
AMONG the protesting Senators, was Adamu Bulkachuwa (APC Bauchi North).
Speaking on behalf of the Senators, the minority leader said their anger was fueled by the refusal of the Senate president to follow the resolutions taken by senators across party lines at the closed-door session.
He said, “We are here to tell Nigerians that as Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are disappointed with the way the worsening security situation across the country is being handled.
“We held closed-door session for two hours, where it was resolved that the issue will be deliberated upon in plenary with an agreed resolution to give President Muhamnadu Buhari a six-week ultimatum to address the insecurity issue of the country or face impeachment by both Chambers of the National Assembly.”
He added, “We agreed that the primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives and property of citizens.
“For us the minority caucus in the Senate, we also took into cognizance the fact that the Senate had at various times convened various security meetings, various security issues were discussed and we did recommend to government various steps and measures aimed at curbing these issues of insecurity. We realised that even Abuja that we are in is no safer and all of you will agree with us.
“So, at the close session we agreed that we will give the President an ultimatum that if it does not comply with the resolutions, we will move immediately to give an impeachment notice. This we agreed at the exclusive session.”
The minority leader added that they had expected the Senate President to brief the public on the issues that have happened but this did not happen.
Aduda then said, “So we have come here in protest to brief you (press) and to let you know that we are with Nigerians in this struggle and that we are worried that nowhere is safe in Nigeria and as such we have walked out of the chambers in protest that the security situation in “Nigeria is deteriorating and urgent steps need to be completely taken to ensure that these issues are curbed immediately. These are the issues that were discussed and these are the reasons why we left the senate plenary in protest.”
On how soon the opposition lawmakers would formalise their impeachment threats against the President, Aduda said, “We have given six weeks’ notice within which the security issues should be resolved and all our resolutions should also be implemented.
“We have passed so many resolutions on what should be done about insecurity and we have given all the support to that effect.”
Aside the PDP Senators who participated in the walkout, other Senators like Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA Abia South), Ibrahim Shekarau (NNPP Kano Central), Francis Onyewuchi (Imo East) also joined.
Buhari’s spokesman says impeachment threat is a joke
While President Buhari appears to think the Senators’ threat must be taken seriously, his media aide, Femi Adesina, said that the lawmakers are joking, adding that they are minority and could not have their way.
Femi Adesina disclosed this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels TV’s Politcs Today.
Responding to a question with regard to the impeachment threat, Adesina said, “You said the lawmakers; earlier you said the minority lawmakers. The truth is that in such kind of scenario, the minority will always have its say, while the majority will have its way.
“You know the configuration of the National Assembly, the configuration of the Senate; those who spoke today are the minority of the minorities.
“They will have their say as is the needful in the democracy, but it will not go beyond that. It’s just bravado and very sadly security is not something you subject to bravado; and you don’t begin to issue flippant ultimatums in something that is a matter of life and death.
“They know in their heart of hearts that they cannot achieve what they are saying; they are just wasting the country’s time, wasting the time of the upper chamber of the National Assembly. They know they cannot achieve it.”
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