By Our Reporter
The House of Representatives has faulted the call by the Peoples Democratic Party caucus on Nigerians to ask the National Assembly to impeach the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu in a press statement said the call by the PDP NASS caucus’ chairman has an ulterior motive, especially as Buhari is billed to appear before the lawmakers soon, to explain the rising spate of insecurity in the country.
It will be recalled that on Sunday, Leader of the PDP caucus, Mr Kingsley Chinda, had a statement titled ‘PDP caucus mourns, says Nigeria saddled with the circus’, called on Nigerians to compel their representatives in the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment proceedings against the President “gross incompetence and persistent and continuous breach of Section 14(2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution.”
Chinda had also called on members of the Federal Executive Council to invoke the provisions of Section 144 (1) of the Constitution by declaring that Buhari is incapable of discharging the functions of the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Chinda, while reacting to the recent killing of 43 rice farmers in Zambarmari area of Borno State, had said the reactions from 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.”
According to the PDP leader, the body language of the government is worrisome as it emboldens terrorists in the country.
He said the greater worry for the country, however, is the “do-nothing posturing and the effeminate reactions of the Presidency and the military that follow the dastardly attacks.”
However, Kalu, in reaction to Chinda, dismissed the call as an opinion of a member of the opposition.
Kalu, in a statement titled ‘Re: Nigeria saddled with the circus…Hon Kingsley Chinda and his lone voyage of impeachment call,’ said the opinion “does not represent the weakest opinion of the minority caucus of the 9th House”.
He said, “Even among the minority caucus, Hon Kingsley Chinda lost the opportunity to speak for the entire minority when he lost the minority leadership election to Hon Ndudi Elumelu, the Minority Leader of the 9th Assembly, a wound that has refused to heal.
“It is the structure of the minority caucus leadership and majority caucus leadership that is recognised by the House, as any statement not emanating from these and the spokesperson of the House does not in any way reflect either the minority, majority or general position of the 9th House of Representatives and should be disregarded like his other divisive, distracting, destabilising and destructive positions.”
The statement further read, “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. This call is not only illogical, it appears as a tool strategically 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. Isn’t it 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? (We are) wondering why he is just remembering his Constitution now that a president is coming to accept our inputs to the solutions he is seeking?”
Kalu, therefore, assured Nigerians that having asked the parliament to invite the President, which they have done, they should be patient to wait for the outcome of the meeting “before been misled by a lone voice on the frolic of his own, whose private opinion in no way represents the position of the House of Representatives.”