6th May, 2018
STOP BUHARI’S IMPEACHMENT PROCESS OR …
The National Assembly (NASS) is currently plotting to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari. This followed a motion moved on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday 24th April, 2018 by Senator Matthew Urhoghide. The senator asked his colleagues in the Red Chamber to invoke Section 143 of the Nigerian Constitution to remove the president because the latter approved the sum of $496 million for the purpose of purchasing 12 Super Tucano war planes without recourse to the NASS.
Urhogide, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senator representing Edo South Senatorial District, insists that the president violated Section 80 of the Constitution with the approval.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is stupefied by the attitude of members of the NASS. It is bellicose and extremely hostile. The body language of Nigeria’s current legislators manifests an acute desertification of parliamentary acumen.
It would have been a different story if Buhari had approved such an amount to buy more jets for the presidential fleet or for members of his family. But this is to increase the combat readiness of our own military for crying out loud! Our legislators are standing logic on its head.
Boko Haram insurgents occupied seventeen local governments in Borno State and threatened two other states in the North East: Adamawa and Yobe because the Jonathan administration adopted a lackadaisical attitude to insecurity in the region. Money meant for the purchase of arms for the military to fight the insurgents was fraudulently shared among party faithfuls.
What did the NASS do for former President Goodluck Jonathan in 1914when Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s private jet which was stuffed with $9.3 million by Jonathan was smuggled out of Nigeria to South Africa for ‘procurement of arms’? Why was Jonathan’s unprincipled procedure overlooked while Buhari’s transparent, standard and conventional global process must be castigated? What manner of legislating is this? Who gave us these legislators? Who did this to Nigeria?
Who appropriated the $9.3 million for Jonathan for the procurement of arms in South Africa? Did he even write to the National Assembly to merely notify them about his intention to procure those arms? Can anyone compare that to Buhari’s transparent gesture? Is it not a mark of moral jaundice to demonise a noble deal while a crooked transaction is idolised? Or what did the NASS dominated by the PDP at the time do after the Jonathan-Oritsejafor dollar smuggling scandal burst?
By the way, who appropriated the $2.1 billion arms funds that President Jonathan carted away and shared to his campaigners? Money meant for fighting insecurity converted to campaign fund for Jonathan’s second term and the NASS turned a blind eye.
This should have been the focus of those organizing or instigating demonstrations over the current general insecurity. This is where the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) got it wrong. They should have asked Jonathan certain pertinent questions. They should have reminded him of what he did to this country. The hard fact is that Jonathan paralysed Nigeria’s security apparatus.
Which NASS appropriated for Jonathan all the billions of dollars he took from the Excess Crude Account with nothing to show for the billions? Did the PDP dominated NASS ever say anything about those illegalities? So why is the current NASS taking on Buhari for doing the needful?
Is it because they want Buhari to fail in his determination to fight insurgency? Is it because the war against corruption is succeeding? Are our legislators unhappy because the looting tap is now dry? Must they vent their spleen on a frugal president, a president who has refused to waste public funds? Is it because they are scared of a second term presidency for Buhari? Or is it because there is no under-the-table cut in the Super Tucano agreement for some interests in the NASS? Sorry but it is not in Buhari’s character. The party is over.
Are the British Commons and the Lords listening? Is the American Congress paying any attention to this bastardisation of parliamentary values and degradation of legislative norms in Nigeria? Insecurity has reached a scandalizing peak in Nigeria but our legislators want to remove the president for striking a neat deal to purchase arms in order to effectively combat terrorism.
Demonstrations are being staged around the country over insecurity but our legislators care less. We are already in the month of May but our legislators are yet to pass a budget submitted to them about eight months ago. NASS owes Nigerians an explanation. Is it because their palms have not been greased as usual? It is just a question. No wonder foreign governments refer to Nigeria as ‘fantastically corrupt’.
We assure members of the NASS that no matter what they do, Nigerians are proud of Buhari: this is a president who is still using his predecessor’s old cars three years after. Unlike most Nigerian politicians, although he has been a former military head of state, a former military governor, a garrison commander, chairman of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), he has no private jet, no foreign account, no fleet of cars and no hilltop palatial houses.
Unlike his predecessor, Buhari’s wife uses commercial planes when travelling outside Nigeria and his ministers are not even allowed to fly first class either within or outside the country. This is why Nigerians are passionate about Buhari.
Members of the NASS must tell Nigerians: are you with us or are you with the enemies of Nigeria? If you are with us you must leave Buhari alone. If you are with us you must drop that irrational, odious and insidious move to impeach the people’s president. It is preposterous and highly reprehensible for anyone to contemplate impeaching the most transparent president Nigeria ever had. It is a big shame that the NASS tolerated thieves for 16 years but find it difficult to tolerate a honest man for three years! We can understand. We know Buhari is a pain in the ass for looters.
In a nutshell, we warn the NASS to stop Buhari’s impeachment process or face the wrath of Nigerians and the anger of the civilized world. Many receive advice, but only the wise profit by it.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)