• Buhari’s supporters accuse lawmakers of blackmail
An assemblage of politicians in Kwara State under the aegis of Kwara Solidarity Group (KSG) has urged members of the National Assembly to match their words with action in the impeachment threats against President Muhammadu Buhari.The group in a release signed by its coordinator, Kashamu Lawal yesterday, said the lawmakers’ decision in their Tuesday joint session, should mark a new beginning in Nigeria’s democracy by showing that the legislative arm of government could actually check the excesses of the executive.
In the release the group said, “The present National Assembly cannot be said to be docile and redundant, in its first three years as it has passed more bills and has been more active than what we had in the past. “The major challenge with the present NASS is its inability to match words and threats with action when it comes to handling issues of the executive and other appointees of the executive. Senate’s battle with the Comptroller-General of Customs; former SGF, Babachir Lawal; IGP Ibrahim Idris, and acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, among others, made the Senate and the entire National Assembly objects of ridicule and almost brought disgrace to the legislative institution.
“When news broke on Tuesday that the lawmakers had a volatile joint session where they declared to invoke their power on the executive if the President does not stop the intimidation and harassment of his perceived enemies especially members of the National Assembly, the expectation was that the lawmakers would wield the big stick.
“Among resolutions reached at the session, the declaration to invoke their power on the executive sounds so good and promising, it’s long over due. But how far can they go in matching words with action? This is not the first time the Senate would be issuing such threat, the end result has always been futile, lacking in substance and fit only as words of a paper tiger.”
The group further alleged that President Buhari had committed enough impeachment offences in the last three years to warrant his removal by the lawmakers adding, “One would have expected the legislators to have gone beyond issuing threats upon threats at this level, three years into flagrant display of incompetence, gross misconduct, total disregard for the rule of law as well as abuse and excessive use of power by the Buhari administration.
“For a very long time, Nigerians had thought members of the National Assembly would commence impeachment proceedings against President Buhari for serially disobeying court orders and recently for allowing the withdrawal of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account, without the approval of the lawmakers in total violation of section 80 (1-4) of the constitution.”
But in a counter move, one of the groups sympathetic to the President, the Buhari Patriotic Movement (BPM) has vowed to mobilise Nigerians against the threats of the lawmakers to commence impeachment proceedings against him.The group said the National Assembly should stop using the threat of impeachment to blackmail the president, who it said, was on a mission to rescue Nigeria from the choking grip of corruption and impunity.
In a statement, the BPM National Secretary, Shoyemi Adeniyi, asked the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and other members of the National Assembly, who have issues with Police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to clear their names with those agencies instead of heating the polity with impeachment threat against the president.
“This is pure blackmail against Mr. President. It is highly irresponsible and a joke taken too far. We, therefore, advise that the reckless move of the lawmakers should not stop the police from investigating the alleged sponsors of the armed robbery attack in Offa that claimed over 30 innocent Nigerian lives.
“The police, the EFCC and other relevant security agencies should not allow these lawmakers to intimidate or coerce them into chickening out of carrying out their constitutionally assigned responsibilities. Nobody is above the law of the land. Whoever has issues should go and clear his name,” Adeniyi said.
While calling on the All Progressives Congress, APC, not to yield to the blackmail of some of the lawmakers, who are its members, to hand them return tickets, Adeniyi called on other patriotic lawmakers to rescue the National Assembly from further desecration saying, “As patriots, we stand with our dear President Muhammadu Buhari for all his decisions, commitments and firm resolve to save Nigeria from ‘locusts.’”
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