The house of representatives has dropped both “immediate and future” plans of inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to address the lawmakers on rising insecurity in the country, The Nation reports.
On December 1, the house of representatives passed a resolution summoning the president, following the killing of more than 40 farmers in Borno state.
The motion was moved by Satomi Ahmad, lawmaker representing Jere federal constituency, and nine others from Borno, who had insisted that Buhari had to address the lower legislative chamber of the national assembly on the government’s efforts on addressing insecurity in the country.
Thereafter, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, on December 2, said the president had agreed to address the lawmakers.
But Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), had argued that the national assembly has no constitutional powers to summon the president.
The newspaper quoted a source in the house as saying the invitation had “assumed an ethnic and political dimension”.
The source reportedly said some lawmakers from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wanted to use the avenue to criticise Buhari’s administration.
The source also said it was discovered that some of the lawmakers who sponsored the motion went “through the back door” to apologise to the presidency over their insistence that Buhari appeared before them.
“The house of representatives has foreclosed or dropped any immediate or future plans to invite President Muhammadu Buhari over insecurity in the country because a harmless motion has become political,” the source was quoted to have said.
“I can tell you that we will no longer revisit the invitation. But we will be interacting with service chiefs and other ministers in charge of the nation’s security.
“The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its lawmakers capitalised on the motion to cast aspersions on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. What we never intended became the issue.
“Some governors and strategists in government insinuated that the house leadership was working for a different political interest. That was why they pulled the strings from the senate.
“At a point, the row over the invitation was turned into a north-south divide, if not for the political dexterity of the house leadership.
“We also got intelligence that some of those lawmakers who sponsored the motion because of Zabamari rice farmers went through the back door to the presidency to apologise over their insistence that the president must appear before the national assembly.”