SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
The Presidency Tuesday frowned at what if described as attempts to link President Muhammadu Buhari to the crisis and power play in the Benue State House of Assembly, where a minority few have served an impeachment notice on Governor Samuel Ortom.
Washing Buhari’s hands off the saga, it declared in a statement that the President would never be part of any unconstitutional act, adding that any attempt to link him with the inglorious past, when minority number of lawmakers impeached governors would not work.
The statement signed by the Presidency spokesman, Femi Adesina, was a direct reaction to insinuation from some quarters that Buhari may have a hand in the unfolding political drama in the Benue State Assembly, a fall out of the defection of Governor Ortom from the ruling All Progressives Congress to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Adesina said point blank that Buhari would always stand by what is “noble and fair” and would “reject attempts to drag him into infamy.”
Following Ortom’s defection, the Benue State House of Assembly last week in a 22-member sitting impeached the Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange who was swiftly restrained by the court to stop parading himself as Speaker.
The impeached Speaker, however, reconvened the House with a minority eight members on Monday, allegedly with the help of security agencies, and commenced impeachment proceedings against the governor.
Adesina said insinuations of President Buhari’s under hand in the matter were out of place.
The statement read: “Even while attending the ECOWAS/ECCAS Summit in Togo, strident attempts were being made to drag President Muhammadu Buhari into the unfolding drama between the executive and the legislature in Benue State.
“Statements have been issued by different interest groups, insinuating that the President may have a hand in the development in Benue. This is paranoia at its worst, coming from people who have wittingly positioned themselves against the clean-up of the country, and the way we do things. They prefer business as usual.
“President Buhari will never be part of any unconstitutional act, and any attempt to link him with the inglorious past, when minority number of lawmakers impeached governors, will not stick. It will simply be like water off the duck’s back. Those with open minds know this, but those who cavil would rather source everything untoward to the President. It is murky ground in which they are now marooned, as fallout of their resistance to change in the country.
“When it suits them, they preach separation of powers and true federalism, and in another breath, they call on the President to interfere brazenly in affairs at state level.
“President Buhari will always stand by all that is noble and fair, and will reject attempts to drag him into infamy. People who stoke fires by deliberate acts of omission or commission, and then summon the President to come and put it out will find that this President will be guided by the Constitution at all times, no matter the attempt to entangle him in unwarranted controversies.”
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