From Fred Itua, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, and Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
Worried by worsening security situation, senators elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and other opposition parties, yesterday, threatened to commence an impeachment proceeding against President Muhammadu Buhari.
They gave him six week to address the country’s security challenges or be impeached.
No fewer than 18 of the lawmakers, however, staged a walk-out following the refusal by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to allow a debate on the planned impeachment, which they hinged on his inability to tackle the rising wave of insecurity in the country.
Kaita Baba-Ahmed, who represents President Buhari’s senatorial district was part of the lawmakers that staged the walk-out. He lamented that the president had been provided with the necessary tool to address the security challenges, but that he had failed the nation.
“We’ve given him all that he has requested for,” he said.
At the plenary, Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda, while raising a point of order, said the lawmakers had agreed that the county’s security challenges be discussed and the president served an impeachment notice.
Lawan, who presided, ruled Aduda out of order, saying his point was not in line with the existing rules of the Senate.
“You didn’t cite any part of our rules and I can’t tolerate it. You didn’t consult me. So, I can’t allow it,” he said.
Addressing newsmen after the walk-out, Aduda said efforts had been made at various times by the National Assembly to address insecurity challenges.
He said even the nation’s capital, Abuja, which houses over 17 security agencies and diplomatic missions was no longer safe for residents.
Rumours about the plot by the lawmakers to impeach Buhari’s started last week, when the Senate resumed from its Sallah break. But last Sunday’s attack on Guards Brigade on patrol in Bwari leading to the loss of two officers and eight soldiers further infuriated the lawmakers to actualise their plot.
A senator said the forced closure of public and private schools in Abuja over threats by terrorists attacks angered lawmakers who reached out to the Senate president to draw his attention to the worsening insecurity in the country.
He said senators feared there were plans to abduct and kill them by terrorists, especially in Abuja, which until recent breaches, was considered a safe haven.
•They can’t do nothing –Presidency
The presidency has dismissed the threat some by Senators to sack President Muhammadu Buhari if he failed to tackle the festering security challenges bedeviling the country within six weeks with a wave of the hand.
Media aide to the residential, Femi Adesina, who appeared on a live programme last night said lawmakers were merely playing to the gallery, adding that there is not much they will do after the drama which played out in the Upper Chamber.
“I think it was just bravado, and sadly, security is not something you subject to bravado.
“You don’t begin to issue flippant ultimatums in something that is a matter of life and death. “Those who spoke today are the minority of minorities, they will have their say as is needful in a democracy but it will not go beyond that.”
“They know in their heart of hearts that they cannot achieve what they are saying, they are just wasting the country’s time, wasting the time of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, they know that they cannot achieve it.
“The truth is that the minorities will have their say while the majorities will always have their way. If you know the configuration of the national assembly and the senate, those who spoke today are the minority of minorities”.
“They will have their say as it is normal in a democracy but it will not go beyond that. I think it was just bravado and very sadly, security is not something you subject to bravado.”
“You don’t begin to issue flippant ultimatums in something that is a matter of life and death. They know in their hearts of heart that they cannot achieve what they are saying. They are just wasting the country’s time. They know they can’t achieve it.”
He also spoke on the threat by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana that the 2020 youth revolt codenamed EndSARS would be a child’s play if government failed to resolve the lingering ASUU strike within two weeks.
Mr. Adesina described them as anarchists.
However, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the APC-led government is working around the clock to bring the country’s security situation under control.
Responding to questions by State House Correspondents after the week’s virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, yesterday, he lauded the senators for their patriotism and concerns, saying steps were being taken to address the security concerns.
He said: “Resolution passed by Senators, as rightly said, 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.”
He also described the reported threat by terrorists to kidnap the president 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.”