Legislature

Gbajamiamila shuns motion that questioned why Buhari disregarded House invitation

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday failed to honour the invitation by the National Assembly to discuss the insecurity in the country.

The House of Representatives had on December 1 summoned Mr Buhari over the killing of 43 farmers in Zabarmari, a community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.

The attack which took place in the morning of November 28, on mostly rice farmers in Zabarmari, saw at least 43 farmers killed. About a dozen farmers are still missing since the attack.

The incident sparked outrage on social media with many calling for the resignation of service chiefs and even the president himself.

The following week, both Chambers of the National Assembly debated separate motions on the issue. But while the Senate simply called for the removal of current service chiefs (for the third time), the green chamber summoned the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.

However, despite the initial acceptance to honour the invitation, President Muhammadu Buhari did a u—turn on his decision. 

The Chief Whip of the House, Muhammed Monguno, revealed this in a telephone interview with TVC News.

He said the President’s change of heart may not be unconnected to alleged plots by the PDP caucus to embarrass him.

The APC caucus met Tuesday night behind closed doors. Previous reports on the meeting’s agenda had revealed that the APC Governors prevailed on the President not to visit the National Assembly as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the actions of the opposition lawmakers, especially from the PDP.

Also, the Attorney-General of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami on Wednesday said the National Assembly has no constitutional power to summon President Muhammadu Buhari.

At the plenary session today, Thursday, a member from Rivers State, Hon. Solomon Bob of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP asked the Speaker to explain why the President failed to honour the invitation. 

Bob said, “Last week, I recall that this House passed a resolution. Subsequently, I read that the president has considered our request.”

“If this House can pass a resolution and we have a situation where such a resolution is abused, it means our very existence is being questioned. I think that the speaker should address us on the current situation. The entire country is watching. It bothers me.”

After the remark of the member, the House fell into silence waiting for the Speaker, Femi Gjammiamila’s response. 

Normally, the statement from Bob would have raised an argument or encouraged discussions with members of the House but the Speaker in a tacit response prevented the matter from escalating. 

He spoke swiftly and hit his gavel.

“Hon; your point of Privilege is well noted. We wait for official communications from Mr. President as opposed to newspaper publications”, he swiftly ruled and moved on with the House proceedings

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