The Minority Caucus in the Nigerian House of Representatives has frowned at President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to honour the lawmakers’ invitation to address Nigerians.
In a statement on Thursday by the House Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, the caucus said that Buhari’s decision not to honour the invitation had placed him in a bad light before Nigerians and the rest of the world.
The Reps members had following the recent massacre of 43 farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram, summoned President Buhari to appear before it to address Nigerians on the worsening insecurity, killings and acts of terrorism in the country.
An aide to the president, Lauretta Onochie, initially claimed that Buhari would honour the invitation to address a joint session of the National Assembly.
However, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday, announced that the National Assembly lacked powers to invite the president.
But reacting in the statement after it was clear that Buhari would not honour the invitation, Elumelu said:
“Mr. President’s apparent backward steps on the invitation just because handlers like Abubakar Malami, are afraid of the people, puts him in very bad light before Nigerians and the world.
“Section 89 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended clearly empowers the Senate or the House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with Section 62 of the Constitution, to procure evidence, written or oral, and to ‘summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place.”
Regretting that Buhari’s refusal to honour the invitation came after he had already agreed to appear before the House to address Nigerians, Elumelu said:
“It is therefore sad and a great disservice to the nation and the President that the only opportunity Mr. President had to remedy his name by addressing Nigerians through their elected representatives is being thwarted by individuals pursuing their selfish interest not the interest of Mr. President or that of the Nigerians people.
“Indeed, as lawmakers, we are surprised that an individual who calls himself a Senior Advocate of Nigerian and who sits in office as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation can reason in such manner.”
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