Reps fault Northern leaders' demand for presiden's resignation

THE PUNCH Newspaper- John Ameh

Both the Minority Whip of the House of Representatives and , Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila and Chairman of the House Committee on Governmental Affairs, Mr. Leo Ogor , on Wednesday asked Nigerians to ignore the Northern leaders in their call for President Goodluck Jonathan to resign or be impeached.

The federal lawmakers accused members of the Norther Political Forum of pursuing “sectional interests” 50 years after Nigeria attained independence.

The NPF, speaking through a former Minister of Finance, Mallam Adamu Ciroma queried Jonathan’s handling of the Golden Jubilee bombings and his 2011 presidential ambition and asked him to resign before Friday (tomorrow), failure which the National Assembly should commence impeachment proceedings against the president.

Gbajabiamila said that Nigerians had advanced beyond sectional interests and could no longer be fooled.

He wondered why the group did not call for the resignation of the late President Umaru Yar‘Adua, when he, in violation of Sections 144 and 145 of the constitution, travelled out of the country for medical check-up, thereby creating a leadership vacuum.

He added, “I find it a sad commentary on where we are as a country that after 50 years of independence, a sectional group would be asking for the resignation or impeachment of Mr. President over a well thought out statement that the bomb attack was not a MEND attack but exactly what he called it, a terrorist attack.

“People should be careful not to precipitate what they will not be able to control.

“I do not remember this group calling for the resignation or impeachment of the late President Yar’Adua when he was sick and could no longer rule or when in clear violation of Section 144 of the Constitution he left the country for months without transmitting the requisite letter to the National Assembly, thereby creating a dangerous vacuum in the Presidency and making Nigeria a laughing stock in the comity of nations.”

Ogor described the position of the Northern leaders as “laughable,” adding that it was a move to polarise the country along North-South divide.

He expressed concern that the leaders were playing politics with the lives of innocent Nigerians who were the victims of the bomb blasts.

Ogor noted that the call for Jonathan’s resignation was not only diversionary but also an attempt to whip up ethnic sentiments.

He also argued that the threat to seek the impeachment of the President through the National Assembly was “meaningless” because it would be difficult to define the grounds of impeachment.

“Who do we trust? Is it the President or the man who has no credibility (Henry Okah)?

“This is not the time to talk about resignation or impeachment.

“Rather, we should commiserate with Mr. President over the unfortunate bomb blasts and think of how to forge ahead as a nation,” he said.


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