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Buhari’s Impeachment: Our aim is to ensure safety and security in Nigeria – Senator Gershom

Buhari’s Impeachment: Our aim is to ensure safety and security in Nigeria – Senator Gershom
L-R: President Muhammadu Buhari; in a handshake with Senator Gershom Henry Bassey, the Senator representing Cross River Southern Senatorial District

 

The Senator representing Cross River Southern Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Distinguished Senator Gershom Bassey has said the impeachment notice against President Muhammadu Buhari by the Senate was to ensure the safety and security of Nigeria.

The lawmaker who spoke recently during an interview with newsmen, stressed that the motive behind the impeachment notice was to elicit desired responses from the executive in addressing the high level of insecurity in the country.

According to him, “the media somehow has missed the point of our action. The point of our action is to ensure safety and security in our country. The point of our action is not impeachment, but to ensure safety and security in Nigeria. That’s why we have given 6-week threshold within which we want the executive, particularly Mr President, to do something about security in our country.

“Our best hope is that the president will respond to what we are saying; to what we are doing. And at the end of 6 weeks everything would have been sorted out. The security situation, to a large extent, would’ve been resolved. That’s the point of our action. It is the part one that should be the focus, not so much part two. Part two happens when we fail to achieve part one. In other words, if there’s continued insecurity without the type of response that we expect within 6 weeks then we move to part two.

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“So it appears that the focus has been on part two, the impeachment notice. Yes. That one is real. We are serious about that, but we will only get there if part one which is the action against the situation in our country does not improved. For instance, why are there people in captivity from the Kaduna incident? Why has nobody been arrested or nobody been held accountable for what happened in Kuje prison? These are actions that can immediately be taken by Mr President to show that he’s in tandem with us; the number of actions that need to be taken to show that yes we are doing something about the situation and we are going to resolve this situation. That’s what we are talking about.”

Speaking further, Senator Bassey said the impeachment move against Buhari should not be misconstrued as an attempt by the opposition party to fight the President, and thus affirmed that the widespread insecurity affects everyone in the country.

He said in matters that have to do with impeachment, the Senate and the entire National Assembly must act in unison and be on the same page in as much as the issue of security of lives and property of the citizens and the country cannot be politicized.

His words: “It’s not just the opposition. I think a number of our leaders have made that point and that point was made again today. It’s about the Senate. We are the ones speaking. We are the ones at the forefront, but it’s not just about us, it is about the entire National Assembly.

“I think the Senate President said it yesterday when we were talking about something else. And he said, “Look, it’s not about him, it’s about the Senate.” He presides over the Senate, and the thought is that the presiding officers are the entire Senate. Yes. I’m sure that the presiding officers will agree with whatever it is the Senate as a body agrees to.

“Do you feel secure in Nigeria? So how can it be a political war. We are not talking politics here. We are talking security. Security is not politics. Like I said, this is a bipartisan effort to ensure that the executive is up and doing. 6 weeks is just the last stroke. We’ve been giving this recommendations, budgetary support since 2018. 2017 we’ve been talking about insecurity in Nigeria. So it’s not as if it’s just happening in the last 6 weeks. We have been talking about it and passing resolutions. We have been giving them money; they brought supplementary budget we passed it. We have given every single cooperation that we can.

“We had two security conferences and we came up with a whole lists. One of the things we had recommended at the time was the change of security chiefs which was done to a large extent, but it wasn’t changed for the sake of change. It was changed in order to achieve some level of performance and the bottom line is that we have not seen that performance. We don’t know what the problem is. It’s the executive that will know better. They now came back with a supplementary budget of about N900billion for security and we passed it. We gave them the 800 or 900 billion they asked for. We gave them that money proud that we are giving money for security issues. Anytime they asked for money concerning security this Senate, and the National Assembly as a whole is very serious about it. That’s where we are. The bottom line is that security is not improving. We are not talking about money now, we are just saying let security improve.

“Our hope is that we won’t get to that. Our hope is that the executive will act and take steps. Look, people are dying everyday. A lot of people feel insecure wherever they are in Nigeria. The essence of the action is to reduce to a large extent, if possible, even go towards eliminating insecurity. That’s the whole point of the action. I know it’s nice to talk about the impeachment and so on, yes we are serious about that, but our hope is that we do not get to that; that the president and this government finally respond to all the notices and to all the cooperations and support that as a National Assembly we’ve been giving to the government and that they finally do the needful and restore security to our nation.”

Meanwhile, commenting briefly on the outcome of the primaries in Cross River, Senator Bassey said, “we went for the primaries and the party opted to go in a different direction. So this is where we are. I’m a party man. There’s no other move. Once the party takes a decision we abide by it.”

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