The call for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives members has sparked a row between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition party.
Also the call has polarized the House as its spokesman, Benjamin Kalu, described it illogical and a distraction.
However, while APC said the call by PDP caucus leader Kingsley Chinda was in bad faith, the PDP defended it, saying that it is constitutional.
To the House of Representatives Chinda’s position was a ploy to derail the proposed visit of the President to this House.
Kalu said in a statement that the call was not only illogical, but self serving, adding that Chinda lost the opportunity to speak for the minority group in the House when he lost the leadership election to Ndudi Elumelu.
In the statement entitled: “RE: Nigeria saddled with the circus – Hon Kingsley Chinda and his lone voyage of impeachment call”, Kalu said the call was a tool strategically thrown up to disrupt the visit of the President and frustrate his agenda for nation building, which remains the mantra of the 9th Assembly and is considered a joint task.
The statement reads: “The attention of the House of Representatives and her leadership has been drawn to the press release by Hon Kingsley Chinda, titled “Nigeria saddled with the circus” circulated over most dailies on the 6th of December, 2020, 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 , Hon Kingsley 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.
“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.
“In the view of the 9th Assembly, it would remain a call made wrongfully to distract the members whose minds are set on the visit and the expected achievements. It is surprising, that Hon Kingsley Chinda, was among those who insisted on the invitation of the president, probably expecting a gross disregard from the president who surprisingly broke the jinx and kindly obliged our request.
“Isn’t it obvious that apparently shocked by the acceptance of Mr. President, he is on a new lonely voyage of personal agenda strange to the legislative agenda of the house and leadership. Where was his constitutional impeachment voice when his previous Presidents of PDP extraction were invited, but ignored the house, wondering why he is just remembering the 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 been misled by a alone voice on the frolic of his own, whose private opinion in no way represents the position of the House of Representatives.
“We have only invited Mr. President for an interactive session and cannot be distracted by those with other self not house motivated agenda.”
But, PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the call was constitutional and democratic.
He added: “The call is a direct reflection of the mood and desires of the Nigerian people, given President Buhari, manifest failure in all spheres of governance and particularly in failing to provide an effective leadership that can guarantee the security of our nation and rescue our 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 Buhari administration had already accepted failure as reflected in the declaration by one of its officials, that the nation is now at the mercy of bandits and terrorists, a development that signals that is has outlived its usefulness”.
However, APC has faulted the call for impeachment over insecurity, accusing Chinda of playing politics with a sensitive matter.
The party claimed that the PDP fractional leader was on his own, stressing that the President and the National Assembly are on the same page in takling emerging security situations in the country.
Its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in a statement in Abuja, advised Chinda to stop playing politics with the grief of the people in the aftermath of the recent gruesome and condemnable killings of some defenceless farmers in Zabarmari, Borno State by Boko Haram.
Nabena said: “APC has no intention of joining issues with a crass statement credited to Kingsley Chinda, a purported factional “leader” of the PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives in which he has resorted to denigrate the office and person of the President by name-calling and insults.
”Chinda’s insensitive and callous intention is to play politics with the grief of citizens in the aftermath of the recent, gruesome and condemnable killings of some defenceless farmers in Zabarmari, Borno state by Boko Haram. The APC will not join Chinda and his PDP backers on this evil and ignoble road.
“We have since learnt that Chinda does not even have the support of any of the PDP House factions he claims to head. He is a lone, rejected voice. The House of Representatives has already dismissed Chinda’s rant as illogical, self-serving and a ploy to derail the proposed visit of the President to the House.
“The leadership of the National Assembly, the President and Armed Forces which the president heads as Commander in chief are on the same page in tackling emerging security situations in the country and ensure the safety of all Nigerians.”