The rift between the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari has taken a new twist as lawmakers loyal to the President have commenced collection of signatures against President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
OrderPaperNG reports that the move is a swift counter to the anti-Buhari wind blowing in the National Assembly, part of which manifested in the 12-points demand on the President which if he fails to meet will trigger possible impeachment processes.
Recall that on Tuesday, the National Assembly conveyed a joint session and asked the President to adhere to the demands which include sacking the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, and respecting the sanctity of the legislature. The resolution warned that “the national assembly will not hesitate to invoke its constitutional power if nothing is done to address the bulk of resolutions passed today.”
The joint session also passed a vote of confidence on both the senate president and the speaker while taking potshots against the Buhari government in the areas of insecurity, unemployment and the fight against corruption.
But moments after the joint session, some lawmakers under the aegis of Parliamentary Support Group (PSG) issued a statement debunking the resolutions as coming from a “PDP executive session.” The statement was signed by Mr. Abdulmumuni Jibrin (APC, Kano) who was only recently recalled from a 180-day suspension.
Jibrin’s action was seen as a breach of parliamentary privilege by the House which consequently referred him to the ethics committee on Wednesday for probe.
However, findings by OrderPaperNG showed that the pro-Buhari group in both chambers have begun a campaign for collection of signatures in support of the President on one hand and against the leadership of the National Assembly on the other.
Although a member of the pro-Buhari camp told OrderPaperNG under condition of anonymity that the collection of signatures is not to “fight the Speaker or Senate President,” findings indicated that the majority of senators and members of the House perceive it as a push against Saraki and Dogara.
The pro-Buhari group has been meeting stealthily in the belief that unalloyed support and open backing for the President will guarantee return tickets to parliament, a source close to the camp explained, adding that solidarity visits to the President and rallies are being planned.
The source further said the names and signatures collected will be forwarded to the President to secure presidential cover in the battle for supremacy between Buhari and those perceived as anti Buhari.