APC Senators Join PDP To Impeach President Buhari, Threaten Senate President Ahmed Lawan
Rising above partisan politics or personal relationships, over 80 senators across political parties and a majority of House of Representatives members, yesterday, agreed to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari, if the growing insecurity across the nation persisted beyond six weeks, being the ultimatum handed the government before the legislature shut down till September 20.
The decision was taken after their respective closed-sessions before the commencement of plenary, presided over by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who also charged the security agencies to do more in order to stop the terrorists and the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase
But the presidency last night reacted to the reported move by the Senate to commence impeachment moves against President Buhari, and advised the senators to stop playing to the gallery like their counterparts in the United States, otherwise, staging a walkout was performative and babyish.
At the same time, the federal government, has said it was currently working round the clock to bring the country’s security situation under control.
The Senators, at the executive session, agreed to give Buhari a six-week ultimatum to address the issue or risk impeachment, and also maintained that all resolutions passed earlier on how to improve the security situation in Nigeria must be implemented immediately by the Buhari-led administration.
The senators, who then agreed at the session that the Senate President should allow members to debate the issue at plenary, however, threatened to impeach Lawan if he failed to cooperate with them.
According to reports, more than two-thirds of the senators, across the parties at their closed-door session, agreed to impeach Buhari, but the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was not comfortable, because he didn’t want the presidency to misread it as his own way of getting back at them after he failed to clinch the presidential ticket of the party or even secured his ticket to return to the senate.
Besides, about seven other senators, led by Opeyemi Bamidele from Ekiti State and Gabriel Suswam from Benue, were also said to have shared Lawan’s sentiment, given the present circumstance.
That, nonetheless, the senators, on the sidelines, were not clear with the mode the impeachment should take, knowing that the south/north dichotomy was still a critical factor in the balance of power in the country.
They, therefore, resolved that the matter would be part of the issues to be considered after the six weeks ultimatum, to know whether they would impeach either Buhari alone or send him away with his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Trouble, however, started at plenary proper, when the order paper was not altered to accommodate the public debate on the issue at plenary.
Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda (FCT), protested the worsening security situation and demanded an open debate as agreed upon at the closed session.
Rising under a point of order not cited, he requested the chamber to give a six-week ultimatum to President Buhari to address the issue of insecurity or face impeachment.
“Mr. President, you may wish to recall that during the closed session, we discussed the issues as they relate to security in the country and all the issues around it.
“[And] we had also discussed that we are going to come back to plenary to discuss the efforts that have been made so far on the issue of security in the country, after which we give an ultimatum to the President that he resolves this issue, otherwise, we give an impeachment notice,” he said.
Delivering a ruling on Aduda’s point of order, Lawan faulted the lawmaker for failing to put forward his request in accordance with the upper chamber’s rules, which regulate its proceedings.
According to him, “Minority leader, when you’re going to come under a point of order, first, you’re supposed to cite the order. Secondly, you’re supposed to discuss with me what you’re going to raise on the floor. You didn’t. Thirdly, we have already passed that stage. So, at this moment, I really don’t know what the point of order is, as such it falls flat on its face.”
Lawan, thereafter, instructed the leader of the Senate to proceed with items on the order paper.
Although in closing his remarks, Lawan told security agencies in the country to be alert and do more to stop the heightening spate insecurity across states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) perpetrated by terrorists.
Charging political leaders to be alive to their responsibility of ensuring the protection of lives of citizens, Lawan, while addressing lawmakers shortly before the upper chamber adjourned till September 20, for its annual recess, bemoaned the incessant killing and maiming of Nigerians by terrorists.
He assured that the National Assembly would provide the needed support to the military to ensure the restoration of security to affected parts of the country.
“I am particularly concerned like all of us here, through our various interactions, including a very important closed session we had today. We (Federal Government) have to be alert and alive to our responsibility, particularly, to secure and protect the lives of our citizen.
“The security situation has been a very difficult and challenging one, but, recently, there has been an increase of attacks, killings and maiming of our citizens. As a part of this administration, we will always provide the kind of support that our military and other security agencies require.
“We have done that before through appropriation and approval of supplementary budget of 2022, where over N900 billion was given as additional funding to our security agencies. We know that it may not be enough, but that is significant, and we expect our security agencies to do far better than they are doing at the moment. As political leaders, we must have it in mind that we are responsible to the citizens.”
But the minority leader, who would not take any of that, angrily led almost half of the senators in the chambers across all political parties to stage a walkout, chanting: “Buhari Must Go” “Lawan Must Go”, as they filed out from the red chamber.
The aggrieved senators including all the PDP members, some of their APC colleagues and others from All Progressives Grand Alliance, New Nigerian People’s Party, the Labour Party and Young Peoples Party, later converged at the Senate Press Corps to address journalists.
Aduda, who spoke on their behalf, lamented that Lawan stopped the Senate from taking a definite position on the embarrassing security challenges in the country at plenary.
He said, “We went into a closed-door session. Various security issues were discussed at the closed-door session. We also took into cognizance that the Senate, at various fora, at various times and various meetings, had recommended to the government, steps to be taken to curb this issue of insecurity but we have realised that even Abuja is no more safe.
“So, at the closed-session, we agreed that we will give the president an ultimatum and if he did not comply, we will move to give an impeachment notice. This was our agreement at the executive session but when we came out, the Senate President refused to inform the public of our resolution.
“Since that didn’t happen, we have come here in protest to let Nigerians know that we are with them, that we are worried. We staged a walkout from the chambers to register that the security in Nigeria is out of hand and urgent steps need to be taken so that the issues are addressed immediately.
“We have come here to say that we have passed so many resolutions on security, we have given all the support and all the enabling appropriation that they need,” Aduda added.
One of the APC members sighted among the protesting senators was, Adamu Bulkachuwa (Bauchi North). Also present were Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA Abia South), Ibrahim Shekarau (NNPP Kano Central), and Francis Onyewuchi ( Labour Party, Imo East ).
Impeachment Threat a Collective Decision, Say APC Senators
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Smart Adeyemi, confirmed to journalists on Wednesday that the decision to serve Buhari an impeachment notice was a collective position of all the senators at the executive session before the plenary.
“I think it is wrong to say opposition. It was a collective decision of the senate, to give ultimatum, the only difference from what the opposition are eventually saying is a matter of semantics.
“We said that we are giving the president six weeks, they said they are serving impeachment notice immediately. We all agreed that we will move after six weeks.
“The opposition said we must give notice but we say it has to be six weeks ultimatum, they said after six weeks what happens? We said they should wait till after six weeks first. I don’t see any difference,” he said.
Also speaking with journalists, Abaribe confirmed that it was a collective decision taken at closed session, saying, “We all agreed that the impeachment notice should be served on President Muhammadu Buhari if he could not tackle insecurity within the six weeks. It is not an opposition parties decision.”
When contacted, Senate Spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said he was not part of the closed session, but claimed he was concerned about the insecurity situation in the country.
“There should be an executive-legislative strategy to tackle the situation. It is becoming worrisome and we cannot continue like this,” he said.
How Wase Blocked Elumelu from Pushing Impeachment in House
Interesting, similar drama played out in the House of Representatives, whose members across political parties, had equally agreed at their closed-door session to concur with their senate counterparts, but was bungled by the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, who blocked the move.
According to a ranking member of the minority caucus, the whole plan was initially messed up by Senator Aduda, who did not stick to plan as agreed to by all the federal lawmakers and across parties.
The source hinted that, the decision was meant to be taken together in nation’s interest before the senators made the move first in a disruptive manner.
However, in the house, the decision, as it was in the senate, was also unanimous as nearly everyone supported the idea of impeaching Buhari.
But when they got to plenary and the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, signaled for recognition, Wase, who presided since Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, was away, allegedly switched off Elumelu’s mic, and thus prevented him from formally moving the motion on the floor of the House.
This, development, was believed to have angered other members of the House, who have resolved to meet again today, being a decision of the caucuses of both legislative houses, on how to further discussions on the impeachment of the president.
Presidency to Lawmakers: Your Action is Babyish
The presidency, yesterday, reacted to planned impeachment of President Buhari by the Senate, saying the Senators should stop playing to gallery like their counterparts in the United States, because their decision to stage a walkout was babyish.
Rather, it advised the senators to collaborate with government in a bid to solve the myriad of problems facing the nation, including current global cost of living crisis.
Presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a release stated: “The performative and babyish antics of those senators staging a walk out notwithstanding, Senate President Ahmad Lawan’s refusal on Wednesday to entertain the ridiculous motion to impeach our President was quite appropriate and correct.
“Rather than making a mockery out of voters by trying to imitate what they see in America, the opposition would be well-advised that their time would be better spent tackling the pressing issues Nigerians face, such as the current global cost of living crisis. Their continued failure to do so goes some way to explaining why they remain in opposition.
“In contrast, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, is committed to finding lasting solutions to the emerging security threats, including those left behind by the PDP in the South-south, the Northeast and throughout the federation. In the last 24 hours, two more Chibok girls were freed, in addition to the three brought home last week.
“These kinds of headline grabbing stunts for which the opposition is now well-known serve no one, least of all their constituents. We would respectfully remind them that it is those same constituents that they were elected to serve, and are paid to do so with public money.
“We would welcome their collaboration in our efforts to solve the problems Nigerians face on a daily basis. No one is asking them to waste their time attempting to impeach a democratically elected president at the end of his second term – certainly not their constituents.
“They should ask themselves: do they want to be in government or do they want to be in the headlines? If they want to be in government they should start acting like it and stop undermining Nigerian voters”.
FG: We’re Working to Bring Security Situation Under Control
However, making a case for the president, the federal government, yesterday, reacted to threats of impeachment by the Senate and House of Representatives, saying government was currently working around the clock to bring the country’s security situation under control.
Briefing newsmen after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the president at the State House, Abuja, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, lauded the Senators for their patriotism and concerns, saying steps were being taken to address the security challenges.
According to him, “Resolution passed by Senators, as rightly said, it was passed when we were deliberating, but we thank them for their patriotism and their concern, but we are working round the clock, 24 hours, to ensure that the situation is brought under control.
“I want to assure you that the president is aware of all these and as a matter of fact, I think tomorrow there’s going to be another Security Council meeting. So, it’s not a matter the president is taking lightly and like I’ll always say, some of the measures we’re going to take are not measure that you can discuss openly here, but we’re as concerned as you are, we’re not going to abandon our responsibility.”
On the reported threat by terrorists to kidnap the President, the minister described it as laughable and mere propaganda.
“As to those who have issued threats to Mr. President, I think it’s more of propaganda than anything. It’s laughable,” he said.
Mohammed also said the FEC had approved a memo by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, for a standard operation procedure on maintaining the civilian and humanitarian character of asylum seekers in Cameroon.
His words: “You all know that due to the insurgency in Cameroon, Nigeria has witnessed an influx of Cameroonian asylum seekers and there’s basic standard procedures for you to be granted status as an asylum seeker.
“This is what the council considered and approved today. And basically, it’s that anybody from Cameroon who’s seeking asylum in Nigeria must first convinced the authorities that he or she has actually renounced armed struggle, before you can even be considered as an asylum seeker.
“Also, there are cases of some of them, who have come even when they claimed to have surrendered their arms, go back at times, to join the separatist movement in Cameroon. So, the procedure was explained and approved today that will evaluate the basic criteria to grant asylum.”
Further on why the issue of asylum seekers should be considered at this time that the country was facing security challenges, Mohammed said, “The issue of the standard operating procedure for asylum seekers from Cameroon is not a matter that started today.
“The issue of the separatist movement in Cameroon is many years old and everyday, because of the proximity of Cameroon to Nigeria, we’ve witnessed an influx of refugees, seeking asylum, and under international regulations, there are certain procedures you must take for asylum seekers.
“So, all we have done today is to establish the standard procedure to ensure that those, who claim to be asylum seekers are actually not insurgents themselves that have come to destabilise Nigeria or people who will come and be launching attacks against their own country from the comfort of Nigeria.”
Abiodun Abudu-Balogun Urges The People To Be Calm On APC’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket
Abiodun Abudu-Balogun Urges The People To Be Calm On APC’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket
Former Federal lawmaker and estwhile Commissioner in Ogun state, Hon Abiodun Abudu-Balogun has appealed for calm on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s Muslim running mate.
Speaking to newsmen recently, Abudu-Balogun believed that it was the opposition party who are afraid of defeat by the APC combination that are hitting up the polity unnecessarily.
According to him Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was not elected at the last APC presidential primaries because he is a Muslim but rather because of his pedigree, competence, capability, ability to deliver and commitment to the Nigerian project.
He was elected among other contestants in line with the party’s decision to field a southern candidate which is quite logical after 8 years of President Buhari from the north.
Hon Abiodun Abudu-Balogun also stated that Sen Kashim Shetima was not chosen as running mate by Tinubu because of religion but rather as a result of his competence and capacity.
While appealing to a section of the media to stop hitting up the system for no good reasons, he posited that hunger and poverty does not know religion. Hon Abudu- Balogun concluded by appealing that it is time to change the narrative to issues of Nigeria’s economic development and future growth rather than keep dwelling on mundane divisive issues like religion and ethnicity.
When asked about his position on the last APC primaries in Ogun state in which he participated, he simply said no comments.
PDP Postpones caucus, NEC meetings as moves to sack Ayu Gets Hotter
PDP Postpones caucus, NEC meetings as movesto sack Ayu Gets Hotter
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed its National Caucus and National Executive Council meeting over calls for the resignation of its chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
This newspaper learnt that some of the National Working Committee and Board of Trustees members on Monday advised that the proposed meetings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday should be postponed to avoid Ayu’s removal.
A member of the NWC who craved anonymity disclosed that the embattled chairman was not “helping matters.”
“You see, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu’s role in this whole crisis showed from day one that he held a bias against Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
“I can tell you that if the NEC meeting holds, Ayu will be history because tensions are still high. So, some of us advised that the meetings should be postponed until a bit of calm is restored,” the source told our correspondent.
Another source said, “There is no problem. We have to postpone the meetings because the Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar is not around.
“This is the first NEC meeting we are holding since our primaries and we need the attendance of all leaders.
“We had our BoT meeting last week and we thought we could follow it up with National Caucus and NEC meeting but we cannot have these meetings without Atiku and many others .
“So we have decided to postpone it for about two weeks.”
Meanwhile, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, National Secretary of the PDP said a new date for the NEC meeting will be announced in due course.
“This is to inform all members of the PDP National Caucus and National Executive Committee that the meetings of the two bodies earlier scheduled for Wednesday, August 10 and Thursday, August 11, 2022, respectively, have been postponed,” Anyawu said.
2023: Major Boost For Atiku In The Presidential Race as 1,615 APC members defect to PDP
2023: Major Boost For Atiku In The Presidential Race as 1,615 APC members defect to PDP
One thousand, six hundred and fifteen card-carrying members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have reportedly defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State.
The APC members from the Toungo Local Government Area of the state were received into the PDP last Saturday, Naija News learnt.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Mustapha Albashir, Alhaji Gana and Mallam Yahaya Abubakar said they are more people ready to follow them into the PDP. According to them, after seven years in the APC, they cannot reckon with any tangible thing the party has achieved under President Muhammadu Buhari.
They lamented the country’s worsening insecurity, stagnation and poverty under the APC administration, saying they have learned their lessons after voting out PDP in the 2015 elections.
The defectors furthered stated that Buhari’s government failed to fulfil its campaign promises to Nigerians.
The defectors who were received by the Adamawa State chapter chairman of the PDP, Tahir Shehu, said they now felt convinced that the umbrella camp was the right place because of the real change brought by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri since 2019 when the PDP ousted the APC in the state.
Abubakar said, “Our journey into the APC was meaningless, we ganged up to defeat the PDP since 2015 but we have realised we made a mistake.
“We beckoned on our children and family members, to retrace their steps as a show of appreciation for the progress we have seen in Toungo because this council has been in darkness since its creation over 30 years ago before the PDP administration of Governor Fintiri reconnected the council to the national grid.
“We are not ingrates, because what the administration has done is a debt, we must repay with our votes and support. Sadly, the APC has set us back and we are leaving the party for the party that has brought us development.”
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