N/Assembly to Buhari: We’ll invoke our powers

The National Assembly yesterday passed resolutions threatening to invoke its powers against President Muhammadu Buhari over “systematic harassment and humiliation of perceived political opponents”.

The resolutions were passed at the end of a joint executive session of the National Assembly co-presided by the Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

The session ended with a 12-point resolution read by Saraki.

Our correspondent reports that before proceeding to the green chamber for the joint session, senators held an executive session that lasted for over an hour.

The impeachment threat is coming days after suspects arrested in connection with the Offa armed robbery attack alleged to be working as political thugs for Saraki and Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed. The police have given Saraki 48 hours, which expires today, to respond in writing to the allegations levelled against him.

The resolutions are: “The Security Agencies must be given marching orders to curtail the sustained killing of Nigerians across the country and protect lives 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.”

They also resolved that 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. It should also prosecute current appointees that have cases pending against them.”

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

The lawmakers also resolved to liaise with International Communities through the IPU, APU, ECOWAS, CPA, Parliament, Pan African Parliament, EU, UN, US Congress and UK Parliament to secure the country’s 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,” they said.

They said 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.”

They passed a vote of confidence on Saraki, Dogara and the entire leadership of the National Assembly.

They reaffirmed their earlier resolution of vote of no confidence on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, “who does nothing other than preside over the killing of innocent Nigerians 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 invoke its Constitutional powers if nothing is done to address the above resolutions passed,” they threatened.

‘Don’t drag N/Assembly into Saraki’s case’

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Support Group of the Senate and House of Representatives, comprising lawmakers supporting President Buhari said the entire National Assembly should not be dragged into Saraki’s case.

The pro-Buhari lawmakers, in a statement by Abdulmumin Jibrin, said every member of the National Assembly that has a corruption case should go and clear their name.

“The joint closed-door session held by the two chambers was nothing but a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) affair as no APC lawmaker spoke in order to avoid confrontation.

“That almost all the members and 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

“That 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.

“That 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.

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

“That 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.

“That every Senator or Member of House who has corruption or criminal allegation against him or her should clear his or her name without dragging the entire institution of the National Assembly into the matter

“That 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.

“That the PDP should recall how it 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.

“That 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 to Mr President as he works assiduously towards dealing with the challenges of our country.”

Reps collecting signatures - Kazaure

Meanwhile, some members of the House of Reps have commenced collecting signatures to impeach the president in view of the intimidation and harassment to Saraki, among other issues.

A member of the House, Muhammad Gudaji Kazaure (APC, Jigawa) confirmed this during a press conference, saying the move would fail.

“We know there’s the issue of some people collecting signature to impeach the president. But I know that won’t be possible, because we have the majority. They can’t do that when we’re around,” he said.

Kazaure also said that he and other lawmakers of like-minds were not comfortable with the resolution threatening to take any legislative action against Buhari should he fail to respect all the resolutions reached by the National Assembly.

“All the resolutions we reached are good. The killings in the country have to be stopped.

“We want the problem between the Executive and the Legislature to come to an end. I call on the president to check mate the people creating problem for his government.

“The threat to the president is worrisome to me. I didn’t agree with that. But I agree that this government shouldn’t intimidate anybody for power.

“We didn’t intimidate anybody before we got power, so we shouldn’t do any such thing now.”
N/Assembly to Buhari: We’ll invoke our powers N/Assembly to Buhari: We’ll invoke our powers Reviewed by AbuZahra Ahmad on June 06, 2018 Rating: 5

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