The leadership of the House of Representatives has blasted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the lower chamber for seeking President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment.
Chairman of the House committee on media and public affairs, Hon. Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia), in a statement, described the leader of the PDP caucus, Hon. Kingsley Chinda as “a single member of opposition”.
Kalu said: “The attention of the House and her leadership has been drawn to the press release by Hon. Kingsley Chinda where he called on constituents, irrespective of political party, tribe or religion to compel their representatives to commence impeachment process against the president.
“This opinion of a single member of the opposition party in the House has been misinterpreted by journalists as the voice of the entire House of Representatives when it does not represent the weakest opinion of the minority caucus of the 9th House. “Even among the minority caucus,
Chinda lost the opportunity to speak for the entire minority when he lost the minority leadership election to Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the minority leader of the 9th Assembly; a wound that has refused to heal.”
According to him, “It is the structure of the minority caucus leadership and majority caucus leadership that is recognised by the House as any statement not emanating from these and the spokesperson of the House does not in any way reflect either the minority, majority or general position of the 9th House and should be disregarded like his other divisive, distracting, destabilising and destructive positions.”
The House spokesman noted that: “The motive behind this press release as well as the timing leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of most progressives who were instructed by their constituents to request for an interaction with the president; a task many thought was not possible seeing that in the history of our modern democracy, none of the past presidents obliged the parliamentary request for an interactive session and none of the past leaderships of the assembly was able to use parliamentary back channel diplomacy adopted and applied by the current leadership to secure the acceptance of Mr. President to this invitation, an outing that has strengthened our democratic principles.
“If this call came post- President’s visit for the failure to dialogue well enough in securing solutions or due to his inability to put our positions to use, it would appear logical. “This call is not only illogical, it appears as a tool strategically thrown up to disrupt the agenda of the coming visit with all it sets out to achieve in the spirit of nation building which remains the mantra of the 9th Assembly and is considered a joint task.
“Where was his constitutional impeachment voice when his previous presidents of PDP extractions were invited, but ignored the House, wondering why he is just remembering his constitution now that a president is coming to accept our inputs to the solutions he is seeking?
“I, therefore, assure Nigerians that having asked us to invite Mr. President, which we have done, you should be patient to wait for the outcome of our meeting, before being misled by a lone voice on the frolic of his own, whose private opinion in no way represents the position of the House of Representatives.”
Meanwhile, the PDP has said that the call by its caucus in the House to direct their representatives to commence impeachment process against President Buhari is constitutional and democratic.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the call is a direct reflection of the mood and desires of the Nigerian people. PDP noted that President Buhari has failed in all spheres of governance, especially in providing an effective leadership that could guarantee the security of the nation and rescue the economy, which has collapsed in his hands.
“As a party, the PDP had always called on our federal legislators in the House of Representatives and the Senate, irrespective of political affiliations, to stand on the side of the people by deploying the legislative instruments provided in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to rescue the ship of state,” the statement added.
PDP said the Buhari administration had already accepted failure as reflected in the declaration by one of its officials, adding that the nation is now at the mercy of bandits and terrorists, a development that signals that it has outlived its usefulness.
“President Buhari is elected by the people; his stay in office is also dependent on the people as vested on them by the constitution, through their elected representatives in the National Assembly,” the party stated.
PDP, therefore, urged Nigerians to eschew all primordial sentiments and stand for the nation at this critical time