From Fred Itua and Ndubuisi Orji
Twenty-four hours after some senators served an impeachment notice on President Muhammadu Buhari over worsening insecurity, their counterparts in the House of Representatives, have also joined the fray.
Senators from the various opposition parties and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had on Wednesday after storming out of plenary told newsmen that they were giving President Buhari six weeks to address the problem of insecurity across the country or face impeachment.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate met with their House of Representatives counter parts, yesterday, at the Senate Hearing room for a joint action.
Briefing newsmen, Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, said they were on the same page with their Senate counterparts as Abuja in particular and Nigeria generally, were no longer safe.
He said both chambers had given the Presidency all the required legislative supports to fight insecurity in the last six years without any tangible result to show for such interventions.
He said: “The nation has been awashed with what happened yesterday (Wednesday) in the Senate where our colleagues had to walk out in protest as to the state of the nation as regards to the issue of insecurity in the nation.
“Concurrently, even though we did not do it exactly the way they did it, we also drew the House’s attention as to what is happening in Nigeria, most importantly in FCT. In FCT, just few weeks back, Kuje Prison was invaded. Few days back, the law school on Bwari road, some very, very important Nigerians in the armed forces were butchered by insurgents….
“We think that it is high time the insecurity of this nation is addressed. And of course, we also have the issue of oil theft which has risen now making it difficult for us to earn income from oil revenue. And these and many others are the reasons we are joining our colleagues in the Senate to ask Mr. President to address the insecurity of this nation within six and eight weeks. Otherwise, we will find the constitutional means to ensure that we serve him an impeachment notice.”
Earlier at the briefing, Senate Minority Leader, Philip Tanimu Aduda, said the move to make President Buhari shape up or ship out, as far as the problem of insecurity is concerned, is not restricted to federal lawmakers in the minority parties but also those in the ruling party.
“Our actions yesterday were spontaneous from the issues that were raised on the floor of the Senate. I am sure that members of the Press must have interacted with our various colleagues to know that this issue is not just about the PDP caucus but it is a bipartisan issue.
“We all agreed that the security architecture is failing and there is need to salvage it immediately and we also agreed that we must issue an impeachment notice to the President if the situation keeps deteriorating because the primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives of the citizens,” he said.
However, the presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has described the impeachment threats as self-serving.
Kachikwu, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, yesterday, called on the leadership of the National Assembly to resign before calling for the president’s resignation.
He said his position has become imperative because the National Assembly is complicit in the failure of government in the country which has resulted in the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Kachikwu said: “I was very amused to hear some senators and members of the House of Representatives call for the president’s impeachment.
“This is a self-serving call. The same people who have refused to do their jobs in the last three years have just woken up to realise that the president should be impeached. What has happened that is different from what has been happening since president Buhari was sworn-in seven years ago for the first term and three years ago for the second term? Are the attacks today any different? Are the deaths less or more meaningful?
“Is there any life worth more than the other? Are they reacting now because Abuja is threatened?
“The National Assembly is complicit in the failure of this government so they should ask their leadership to resign before calling on President Buhari to resign.”
He lamented that the checks and balances enshrined in the nation’s Constitution “never envisaged that Nigerians would be saddled with a spineless and self-serving legislature.
“Yes, Buhari has failed and should resign or be impeached but he failed because the legislature failed in their duties. The entire leadership of the National Assembly should also resign or be impeached. This is the double-edged sword called doctrine of collective responsibility.”