The Presidency has lashed at Senators on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) for distractive and irresponsible condemnation of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement issued on Wednesday night in reaction to PDP Senators’ threat to impeach the President, the Presidency described their action as babyish, advising them to put their time to a better use by making meaningful contributions to the development of the country.
The Statement signed by the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, commended the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan for turning down the motion, saying it was quite appropriate and correct.
“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, the statement read.
On his part, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who addressed Journalists shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Buhari, described the action of the lawmakers as patriotic, noting that work was ongoing to restore order.
The minister said, “As to the resolution passed by the Senate, it was passed when we were deliberating (at the FEC meeting). We thank them for their patriotism and their concern. But we are working around 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 measures that you can discuss openly here, but we’re as concerned as you are, we’re not going to abandon our responsibility”, he said.
Speaking further, Mohhammed dismissed as laughable the threats by some terrorists in a viral video to abduct the President.
The terrorists who flogged the 43 passengers of the Kaduna-Abuja train had threatened to abduct Buhari and the Kaduna Stated Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
It would be recalled that the opposition Senators on Wednesday threatened to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari over the worsening insecurity in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and the country at large.
The angry senators issued the president a six-week ultimatum to address the security crisis or face impeachment proceedings.
Lawan in his ruling said, “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.”
He, thereafter, instructed the leader of the Senate to proceed with items on the order paper.
In response to the development, all the Senators across the opposition parties led by Aduda stormed out of the chamber chanting, “All we are saying, Buhari must go, Nigeria must survive, Ahmad Lawan should follow .”
The protesting Senators, including Adamu Bulkachuwa (APC Bauchi North), later gathered at the Senate Press Centre to disclose what transpired during the closed-door session.
Speaking on behalf of the Senators, the minority leader said their anger was fueled by the refusal of the Senate President to follow the resolutions taken by senators across party lines at the closed-door session.
He said, “We are here to tell Nigerians that as Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are disappointed with the way the worsening security situation across the country is being handled.
“We held closed-door session for two hours, where it was resolved that the issue will be deliberated upon in plenary with an agreed resolution to give President Muhamnadu Buhari a -six week ultimatum to address the insecurity issue of the country or face impeachment by both Chambers of the National Assembly.”
He added, “We agreed that the primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives and property of citizens.
“For us the minority caucus in the Senate, we also took into cognizance the fact that the Senate had at various times convened various security meetings, various security issues were discussed and we did recommend to government various steps and measures aimed at curbing these issues of insecurity. We realised that even Abuja that we are in is no safer and all of you will agree with us.
“So, at the close session we agreed that we will give the President an ultimatum that if it does not comply with the resolutions, we will move immediately to give an impeachment notice. This we agreed at the exclusive session.”
The minority leader added that they had expected the Senate President to brief the public on the issues that have happened but this, however, did not happen.
Aduda then said, “So we have come here in protest to brief you (press) and to let you know that we are with Nigerians in this struggle and that we are worried that nowhere is safe in Nigeria and as such we have walked out of the chambers in protest that the security situation in “Nigeria is deteriorating and urgent steps need to be completely taken to ensure that these issues are curbed immediately. These are the issues that were discussed and these are the reasons why we left the senate plenary in protest.”
On how soon the opposition lawmakers would formalise their impeachment threats against the President, Aduda said, “We have given six weeks’ notice within which the security issues should be resolved and all our resolutions should also be implemented.
“We have passed so many resolutions on what should be done about insecurity and we have given all the support to that effect.”
Aside the PDP Senators who participated in the walkout, other Senators like Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA Abia South), Ibrahim Shekarau (NNPP Kano Central), Francis Onyewuchi (Imo East ) etc, also joined.
Former Senate Majority Leader, who recently defected to the People’s Democratic Party, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi also said what, happened was that the senate was unable to agree on the motion to impeach the president.
He said, “The Majority leader said that they wouldn’t support impeachment while the minority insisted that we should impeach him, so we were all on the issue before the plenary.
“That was why the senators then walked out on the Senate President. I am in support of the motion and we all both majority and minority are unhappy with the President on this security issues.”
Abdullahi said the president as the Commander In-Chief was expected to do the needful.
He stated, “The Senate is giving him six weeks to visit those resolutions and implement them, else we would look into the constitution and address the issue from what the constitution states.”
Also commenting on the issue, the lawmaker representing Kogi-West, Senator Smart Adeyemi said that the motion was not only moved by the opposition party but it is a uniform agreement of the Senate.
When contacted, Senate Spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said he was not part of the closed session.
Basiru, however, said he was concerned about the insecurity situation in the country.
He further said, “There should be an executive-legislative strategy to tackle the situation. It is becoming worrisome and we cannot continue like this.”