The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives said it will commence impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari if the “calculated blackmail” against the National Assembly and insecurity in the country is not checked.
The caucus, in a statement issued on Sunday by its leader, Kingsley Chinda, gave a four-week ultimatum to the Executive “to provide security to Nigerians and commence proper cleaning of the embarrassing and notorious corruption cases (EFCC and NDDC).”
It said if not, “we shall revert to the relevant sections of the constitution and commence impeachment proceedings in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
To impeach a sitting president will require the assent of two-thirds majority of each House of the National Assembly. Both Houses have 469 combined lawmakers.
The National Assembly website shows that the PDP is in the minority in both Houses with 174 lawmakers (House, 134; Senate, 40), while the APC has 274 (House, 210; Senate, 64).
Nonetheless, the opposition caucus said it will instigate the impeachment process due to the “the behaviours of appointees of the Executive arm…. who continue to show disrespect for the constitution.”
“Recall three of several events of the past few weeks. On Thursday 16th July 2020, a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour walked out on the House Committee on Diaspora unprovoked,” the statement read.
“Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour, who appeared before the Joint Ad-Hoc Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity walked out on the Committee over disagreement that arose between him and the Committee on two specific questions.
“A few days ago, the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Daniel Pondei, walked out on the Committee of the House of Representatives charged with the responsibility of investigating the financial scandal that has rocked the Commission. Again, regardless of his reasons, a walkout on the Parliament is inexcusable.”
The caucus said while the three arms of government should work as one, no one arm is superior to the other.
The opposition lawmakers also accused the Executive of taking the legislature and judiciary as prisoners in order to hijack them, supplant them into obsequious rubber stamps arms, thereby subverting the constitution.
They also bemoaned the spate of killings of Nigerians by both state and non-state actors.
“Security is at its lowest ebb. Terrorists, kidnappers and bandits have taken over vast ungoverned swathes of our country. Katsina, the home state of the Commander-in- Chief is on its knees. In fact, everywhere is unsafe in our country.
“The internal security of the country has been compromised as Boko Haram continues to inflict violence and death on Nigerians, while President Buhari continues to sound like the broken record.”
“All these drama are moves to change the current narrative of bad, corrupt and inept governance and turn the attention of Nigerians away from the main issues of unpardonable deceit and deep rooted corruption that bedevil this government.”
The caucus called on the leadership of the National Assembly to “take back its independence from the Executive and desist from making such statements as ‘I will approve whatever GMB asks for’; ‘better to be a rubber stamp and get what we want.’”
“We cannot as Members of the PDP Caucus, watch from the side-lines as if nothing is happening when the tenets of democracy are being subverted and the Constitution desecrated. The snub of the National Assembly by the Executive and the unconscionable and obsequious behaviours of appointees of Executive arm have to stop forthwith.”