The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have faulted the attempt by eight out of the 30 members of the Benue State House of Assembly to impeach Governor Samuel Ortom.
In a statement jointly signed by their media aides on Monday, both leaders described the situation in Benue State as a desecration of the legislative sanctity.They argued that the action of the Benue lawmakers on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House was illegal.
“We have monitored closely the development in Benue State in which the impeached Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, led seven other members to serve impeachment notice on the State Governor, Samuel Ortom, while the 22 other members who constitute more than the two-thirds majority have been prevented from having access to the chamber,” they said.
“We also note with surprise the role of the police in this undemocratic event in which the minority is seeking to impeach a Governor against the position of the majority. We believe it is the sacred institution of the legislature that is being desecrated and rubbished in all these negative developments.”
The National Assembly leaders warned that the situation in the Benue Assembly has grave implication for the nation’s democracy.
They, however, said they would work with lawmakers in both chambers of the National Assembly to prevent any attempt to destroy any state legislature.
The Senate President and the Speaker asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call the police to order and stop them from being used to achieve political purposes.
They said, “We believe this unlawful and unconstitutional move to impeach Governor Samuel Ortom by a minority should be condemned by all lovers of democracy, at home and abroad. We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the police to order and prevent a break-down of law and order.
“We also call on friends of Nigeria in the international community to lend their voice in condemning the perpetration of illegalities and actions that can subvert our democracy.“There is already a tense atmosphere in Benue State following the recent killings. Nobody should encourage any action or move which may exacerbate the security situation in the North-Central state.
“As leaders of the Federal legislature, we are ready to work with our colleagues in both chambers of the National Assembly to prevent any attempt to destroy any state legislature or use it to derail democracy.”
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