Nigerian senators have on Tuesday threatened to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari and suspend the passing of Budget 2021 if the nation’s number one man and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces fail to address the insecurity in the country.
Similarly on Tuesday, the Nigeria House of Representatives asked the authorities to urgently implement the Safe Schools Declaration to protect children and their teachers from attacks.
These reactions from the nation’s National Assembly is against the backdrop of heightened insecurity, especially the recent kidnap of over 300 hundred students in Katsina.
The call by the legislators came as Zamfara State closed boarding schools; while the cry for drastic solution to the low level insecurity has been raised higher by northern elders, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Sultan of Sokoto, among others.
Senators took turn to air their views on the deplorable state of security in the country amidst palpable anger.
Debating on a motion sponsored by Senator Bello Mandiya (APC, Katsina South), which sought investigation into the missing students, senators rejected, angrily, a call to invite service chiefs and Inspector General of Police for deliberation.
They submitted that the country had moved into a state of total collapse and urged the President to take full responsibility for massive security failure.
In his contribution, Senator Olubunmi Adetunbu (APC, Ekiti North) asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remember and fulfil the pledge he made in Chatham House, London in 2015, to tackle insecurity head on across the country.
Buhari had on February 26, 2015 in a speech in Chatham House, said that if elected President, the world would have no cause to worry about Nigeria “as it has had to recently.” He promised that Nigeria would return to its stabilising role in West Africa and that no inch of Nigerian territory would ever be lost to the enemy because “we will pay special attention to the welfare of our soldiers in and out of service, we will give them adequate and modern arms and ammunitions to work with.”
BUT reacting, yesterday, former Senate minority leader, Abiodun Olujimi, suggested that the National Assembly should halt work on the 2021 Budget Bill to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to suggestions from Senate.
She said: “The presidency is not an award, it is a call to duty. And when you call a man to duty, he must be able to know when the buck stops on his table. Right now the buck stops on the President’s table as far as security in this country is concerned.”
She argued that the time had come for the Senate to take drastic action before the budget.
“We must think outside the box, we must hold government accountable because this is the third arm and we are equal in all,” she contended.
Senate spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, said the National Assembly should amend existing laws to empower the Legislature to play serious roles in securing the country. Such amendments, according to him, should allow the National Assembly to mete out sanctions to erring public officers.
Also, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, lamented the failure of President Muhammadu to execute motions passed by the Senate on growing insecurity in the country. He expressed the need to activate Section 143 of the Constitution, which deals with impeachment and removal of the President. He, however, said the intention was not to remove the President but to send warning signals.
He was of the opinion that the Senate immediately begins to gather signatures of at least one third of its members to be attached to its resolutions and sent to the President to make him realise that the Senate has powers to sanction him.
Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger State) urged his colleagues to take decisions that could change the situation, saying: “We cannot continue to be leaders when the people we are leading are dying everyday. What are the police doing? Yesterday, armed bandits were roaming streets of towns buying bread and geisha and nobody said anything. There is need to draw the attention of the President that enough is enough, the service chiefs should go.”
- The Guardian