…Ask Nigerians to disregard call
…impeachment call constitutional — PDP
By Levinus Nwabughiogu & Dirisu Yakubu
Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Ben Kalu, has described as illogical call by the caucus leader of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Kingsley Chinda, that impeachment process be commenced on President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kalu also said it was a distraction to members who were eagerly awaiting Buhari’s coming to the House.
It will be recalled that the House last Tuesday, via a resolution, invited the President to give explanations to lawmakers reasons for the escalating security situation in the country.
The invitation was prompted by the recent killing of over 43 rice farmers in Zarbamari village in Borno State.
Chinda in a statement on Sunday, said the President has failed in his primary responsibility to protect lives and property in the country, and called on Nigerians to compel their representatives at the National Assembly to commence impeachment processes against the President.
The lawmaker also called on the Federal Executive Council, FEC to declare the President incapacitated.
But reacting to the call, Kalu in statement, titled “Re: “Nigeria saddled with the circus,” said Kingsley Chinda does not speak for the lawmakers, describing him as loner.
The statement read: “The attention of the House of Representatives and her leadership has been drawn to the press release by Hon Kingsley Chinda, titled “Nigeria saddled with the circus” circulated over most dailies on December 6, 2020, where he called on constituents, irrespective of political party, tribe or religion to compel their representatives to commence impeachment process against the President .
“This opinion of a single member of the opposition party in the House has been misinterpreted by journalists as the voice of the entire House of Representatives when it does not represent the weakest opinion of the minority-caucus of the 9th House.
‘’Even among the minority caucus, Kingsley Chinda lost the opportunity to speak for the entire minority when he lost the minority leadership election to 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.
‘’Just last week, the speaker warned the media to desist from ascribing to the House the opinion of a single member, since we have a spokesperson.
“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.
‘’Besides, 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 the 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.
“I, therefore, assure Nigerians that having asked us to invite the President which we have done, you should be patient to wait for the outcome of our meeting, before being misled by a alone voice on the frolic of his own, whose private opinion in no way represents the position of the House of Representatives.
‘’We have only invited the President for an interactive session and cannot be distracted by those with self and not House motivated agenda.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said yesterday that the call by its House of Representatives caucus on Nigerians to direct their representatives across party lines to commence impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari was constitutional and democratic.
According to PDP, the call is a direct reflection of the mood and desires of the Nigerian people, “given President Buhari’s manifest failure in all spheres of governance and particularly in failing to provide an effective leadership that can guarantee the security of our nation and rescue our economy, which has collapsed in his hands.”
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP noted that it had always called on lawmakers “in the House of Representatives and the Senate, irrespective of political affiliations, to stand on the side of the people by deploying the legislative instruments provided in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to rescue the ship of state.”
The statement further read: “The Buhari administration had already accepted failure as reflected in the declaration by one of its officials, that the nation is now at the mercy of bandits and terrorists, a development that signals that is has outlived its usefulness.
“President Buhari is elected by the people; his stay in office is also dependent on the people as vested on them by the constitution, through their elected representatives in the National Assembly.
“The PDP, therefore, urges Nigerians to eschew all primordial sentiments and stand for the nation at this critical time.”