From Fred Itua, Abuja
Twenty four hours after members of the Senate and House of Representatives Minority Caucus lampooned President Muhammadu Buhari over rising insecurity in the country, senators elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, gave the president a pass mark.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja after a private session, Senate Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said the Minority Caucus of the National Assembly was overheating the polity.
He said President Buhari and the service chiefs were working round the clock to address security challenges in the country and salvage the situation as soon as possible.
Abdullahi said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) refused to adequately fund the military when it held sway for 16 years and wondered why it was now criticising the administration of President Buhari who is trying to fix the mess he inherited.
“In any democracy, the rights to present criticisms and concerns on the state of the nation’s affairs are unassailable. However, while we respect such rights, which come with obligation and responsibility, we are concerned that the statement issued by the minority caucus is capable of over- heating an already charged polity in which men of good conscience and patriotism are expected to act as leaders and Statesmen.
“While we acknowledge the natural disposition of playing politics, we are worried and disturbed that our colleagues are playing with lives. The unfortunate state of insecurity for which the Senate has continuously debated and issued resolutions to support the actions of the executive under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari in the overriding interest of the public is too delicate to play with.
“In all our deliberations, the entire Senate including the minority had discussed exhaustively in a very robust, transparent and patriotic flavor to arrive at our concrete resolutions. A case in point is the current invitation to engage the service chiefs.
“Furthermore, we take exception to the unfortunate charge that our president has not been seen. This is false and cheap politics. Mr. President and service – chiefs are meticulously busy every day and every night in deliberations with a view to addressing the security challenges across the entire country.
“Similarly, Mr. President had always made statement to Nigerians on all major security incidences and assuring Nigerians and indeed the international community that he would continue to do his best in making sure the security challenges are tackled head-on.
“We want to assure Nigerians that Mr. President is in charge of government and is discharging his duties conscientiously and patriotically. It is a well-known fact that the Federal Government under the PDP refused to invest in the security infrastructure of the country while Mr. President under the APC-led government had massively invested in this regard more than any past governments and we are confident that the nation will surmount its current security challenges.
“Furthermore, it must be noted that the global economy is in turmoil triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and Nigeria’s is not an exception. The Federal Government is aware of the challenges and is working to massively get the economy working for Nigerians through agricultural intervention projects, infrastructure development projects and social interventions to reduce the pains of the economic downturn on ordinary Nigerians.
“We, therefore, call on our distinguished colleagues and indeed all Nigerians to join hands with us as we proffer solutions to this hydra-headed security challenges. In doing so, we want to assure Nigerians, and the international community that the rule of law will be respected and the rights to political opposition guaranteed. We ask for support and continuous constructive criticisms as envisaged by the tenets of our participatory democracy.
“We reject and dissociate ourselves from all and any inflammatory statements that appear to threaten the authority of Mr. President and our party. We accordingly, wish to remind them that blame game and threats of ‘constitutional measures’ are unwelcome and will not help in any form to address the challenges the nation currently faces.”