House of Reps flays member for demanding Buhari’s impeachment

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The House of Representatives says a member from Delta State, Hon. Kingsley Chinda is a “lone voice” in his call for President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment.

Chinda made the call in a Sunday statement, urging Nigerians to prevail on their representatives in the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment proceedings against the president.

He said that the president deserved to be impeached for “gross incompetence and persistent and continuous breach of Section 14(2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution,” which stipulates that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government…”

Chinda further called on members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to invoke the provisions of Section 144 (1) of the Constitution by declaring that Buhari was incapable of discharging the functions of the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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But in a swift reaction, the House of Representatives, which has summoned Buhari over rising insecurity in the country, distanced itself from the impeachment calls.

In a statement signed by its spokesman, Hon. Ben Kalu, the House said, “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.

“It is the structure of the minority caucus leadership and majority caucus leadership that is recognised by the House as any statement not emanating from these and the spokesperson of the House does not in any way reflect either the minority, majority or general position of the 9th House of Representatives and should be disregarded like his other divisive, distracting, destabilising and destructive positions. Just last week the speaker warned the media to desist from ascribing to the House the opinion of a single member, since we have a spokesperson.

“The motive behind this press release as well as the timing leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of most progressives who were instructed by their constituents to request for an interaction with the president, a task many thought was not possible seeing that in the history of our modern democracy none of the past presidents obliged the parliamentary request for an interactive session and none of the past leaderships of the assembly was able to use parliamentary back-channel diplomacy, adopted and applied by the current leadership to secure the acceptance of Mr. President to this invitation. An outing that has strengthened our democratic principles.

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“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 extractions were invited but ignored the house, wondering why he is just remembering his 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 being misled by a lone 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.”

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