By Yusuf Ali, Emmanuel Oladesu and Sanni Onogu, Abuja
Kachikwu, CD flay opposition senators’, Reps’ threats to move against Buhari
It is political, says Omisore
Ruling party’s legislators to meet on Sunday
All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders yesterday began moves to avert the impeachment threat against President Muhammadu Buhari by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) federal legislators over the worsening insecurity.
It was also learnt that the impeachment plot by the opposition senators and House of Representatives members was part of a bigger agenda to outsmart APC in 2023 poll.
The PDP lawmakers have issued a six-week ultimatum to the president to resolve the security challenge or face impeachment.
But some senators from APC and PDP have fixed a meeting for Sunday on what to do if there is no improvement in the nation’s security within six weeks.
APC National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, who dismissed the threat, said it is political.
He said: “This is election season. The PDP senators are whipping up sentiments. They want to de-market our party and the Buhari administration.
“It is not desirable that PDP senators should politicise security. Security is a collective responsibility. The opposition in parliament should contribute useful suggestions, and not to start playing to the gallery.”
Yesterday, African Democratic Congress (ADC) presidential candidate Dumebi Kachikwu described the impeachment threat as self-serving.
Sources said APC leaders were shocked that PDP senators allegedly went overboard on the decision of the Executive Session of the Senate.
They were also angry that PDP senators sold a dummy to the public that the “opposition is in control of the two chambers of the National Assembly.”
It was gathered that APC leaders took preliminary stock of the situation and decided to halt further moves to embarrass the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Some of our leaders have met in Abuja. We are ready to nip the so-called threat in the bud. It is a fluke because it was the stock in trade of PDP when it was in power.
“We have made up our minds that we won’t allow PDP to ambush our administration. We know that they do not have the numbers, but they can make disturbing noise.
“I know that before the end of the recess of the National Assembly, the threat will be over.”
The source gave insights into what transpired on Wednesday in the Senate.
He said: “The PDP Senators derailed from the consensus reached at the Senate Executive Session because of sheer politics.
“Senators Gabriel Suswam and Opeyemi Bamidele foresaw the development when they cautioned their colleagues.
“But they did not listen because they have their agenda cut out for them by some forces in their party. We know those behind the impeachment threat.
“It was all politics by PDP to present a false narrative to Nigerians ahead of 2023 poll.
“Was PDP not in power when insurgency became the order of the day? What did they do?
“By the time Nigerians see the factsheet, they will know that this administration is really addressing the nation’s security challenges.”
It was gathered that some aggrieved APC senators, who lost return tickets, tacitly supported the move by their PDP colleagues to embarrass the president.
Another source, however, said one of the steps being initiated by APC leaders was to address their grievances.
The source listed the issues as follows:
- Slowness in addressing the aftermath of party primaries
- Absence of regular caucus meeting
- Lack of regular consultation with lawmakers by the President as expected in a democracy
- Lack of constant interaction with party leadership
- Poor communication with the lawmakers and Nigerians on the fight against insurgency, banditry and killing of troops.
- Lack of inclusiveness.
He added: “These gaps are really being exploited by PDP to harass and intimidate APC government under the guise of insecurity.
“In the next few weeks, we will try as much as possible to address some of these problems.
“But I can tell you that impeachment is unrealistic; it is a storm in a tea cup. We will, however, tell ourselves the truth on the need to improve on what we have been doing.”
As of press time, some PDP senators and a few aggrieved elements in APC have agreed to meet on Sunday in Abuja.
An opposition senator said: “We will meet to decide on what to do if there is no improvement in the nation’s security architecture within six weeks.
“We will keep you posted, but we will place premium on national interest.”
‘National Assembly complicit in govt’s failure’
Kachikwu, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, said before Buhari can heed the call to resign, the leadership of both chambers must resign first.
He said the “National Assembly is complicit in the failure of government in the country”, which has resulted in the deteriorating security situation.
Kachikwu said: “I was very amused to hear some senators and members from the Lower House call for the President to be impeached.
“This is a self-serving call. The same people who have refused to do their jobs in the last three years have just woken up to realise that the President should be impeached.
“What exactly has happened today that is different from what has been happening since President Buhari was sworn in seven years ago for the first term and three years ago for the second term?
“Are the attacks today any different? Are the deaths less or more meaningful?
“Is there any life worth more than the other? Are they reacting now because Abuja is threatened?
“The National Assembly is complicit in the failure of this government, so they should ask their leadership to resign before calling on President Buhari to resign.”
The ADC flag bearer lamented that the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution “never envisaged that Nigerians would be saddled with a spineless and self-serving legislature.”
He added: “Buhari has failed and should resign or be impeached but he failed because the legislature failed in their duties.
“The entire leadership of the National Assembly should also resign or be impeached. This is the double-edged sword called doctrine of collective responsibility.”
Protest a charade, says CD
The Campaign for Democracy (CD) said the lawmakers know what to if they really mean business.
Its General Secretary, Pastor Ifeanyi Odili, in a statement, described their action as a charade.
The statement reads: “The protest that took place at the red chamber of the National Assembly is a charade, pantomime – a theatrical entertainment, mainly for children, slapstick comedy usually produced during Christmas period.
“The Senators are not unintelligent, illiterates or alliens to know the business of the National Assembly.
“Matching like college students, chanting ‘Buhari Must Go’ means they do not know the business of the National Assembly.
“Therefore, the senators who participated in the protest should be impeached without further delay.
“Impeaching a sitting President has a series of procedures, which we think they are all familiar with unless they want to have Nigerians believe that they are just fooling Nigerians.
“The protest has exposed to the international community, that they are intellectually bankrupt as it is a direct attack on the reputation of the hallowed chamber.”