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INSECURITY: Senators give Buhari six weeks to end terrorism or face impeachment

…storm out of plenary as Lawan refuses to raise matter in the chamber

Senators from different political parties, yesterday, gave President MuhammaduBuhari six weeks ultimatum to end terrorism in Nigeria or face impeachment. The aggrieved lawmakers stormed out of the plenary session when the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, refused to allow the matter of insecurity to be raised and discussed during the session.

The protesting members of the Upper Legislative Assembly cut across the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Labour Party (LP). Apart from members of the the PDP senators’ who participated in the walk out, other Senators like Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA Abia South), Ibrahim Shekarau (NNPP Kano Central), Francis Onyewuchi (Labour Party, Imo East), and Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa (APC, Bauchi North), later gathered at the Senate Press Centre to disclose what transpired at the closed door session.

The President of the Senate, had, after the closed door session, announced that issues relating to smooth running of the Senate and unity in Nigeria were deliberated upon and thereafter, instructed the Leader of the Senate to proceed with items listed on the Order Paper. Agitated by the action of Lawan, the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda, who led the protest, raised a Point of Order. He drew the attention of the President of the Senate to the resolve of the Chamber, during its executive session that lasted two hours yesterday, to give Buhari ultimatum on the state of insecurity in the country or face impeachment.

However, Lawan ruled him out of order, claiming that the matter had been overtaken by event, saying that the issue was not raised when opportunity was given for points of order to be raised at the session. “Mr President, I raised this point of order to bring to the front burner, issues deliberated upon at the closed door session. Resolution made by all Senators at the closed door session which lasted for two hours, was to further deliberate on it in plenary and arrive at resolution to give President Muhammadu Buhari ultimatum on urgent to stop the worsening security situation or face impeachment,” Aduda said.

The President of the Sen-ate quickly interrupted him by saying, “Your point of order falls flat on its face since you didn’t discuss it with me.” To worsen the anger of the opposition lawmakers, Lawan immediately instructed the Leader of the Senate to proceed on other legislative items on the Order paper. Addressing journalists at the National Assembly Complex after they staged a walkout, the politicians expressed concerns that in spite of the deteriorating state of insecurity in the country, President Buhari had been adamant towards tackling the menace. Aduda said: “We went through a closed session to discuss issues as they relate to security in this country, especially the happenings in Abuja and happenings all over the country. “We agree that the primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives and property of citizens.

For us the Minority Caucus in the Senate, we took into cognisance the fact the Senate had at various levels, at various times, convened various security meetings, where issues were discussed and we did recommend to government various steps and measures aimed at curbing these issues on insecurity. “We realise that even Abuja that we are in is no longer safe. At the closed session, we agreed that we will give the President an ultimatum, and that if he did not comply with it, we move immediately to give an impeachment notice. “This is what we agreed at the closed session. So, when we came out of the closed door session, we expected that the Senate President would brief the public on the issue that happened. “However, that did not happen. So, we have come here in protest to brief you and to let you know that we are with Nigerians in this struggle.

“We are worried that no where is safe in Nigeria and as such, we have walked out of the Chamber in protest that the security situation is deteriorating and that urgent steps need to be completely taken to ensure that these issues are curbed immediately.” On how soon they would formalise the impeachment notice, Aduda said: “We have given six weeks notice within which this security issue should be resolved and all our resolutions should also be implemented. “We had passed so many resolutions and we have given all the support, all the enablement, we have given all the appropriation that they need.” The protesting Senators, while storming out of the Chamber, were singing, “All we are saying, Buhari must go. All we are saying, Lawan must go.”

 

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