Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is capable of delivering on the responsibilities of his office.
The recent horrific killing of at least 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State had sparked fresh call for the sacking of the country’s service chiefs by the president.
A cross-section of Nigerians also advised the president to resign for failing to protect the citizens.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives yesterday added its voice by calling on members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to invoke the provisions of Section 144 (1) of the Constitution by declaring President Buhari incapable of ruling the country.
But Fayemi said the president is committed to defeating the insecurity challenge confronting the country.
The governor, who spoke yesterday on a live television programme, also urged the opposition lawmakers to be constructive in their criticisms of the president.
He said, “I meet President Buhari from time to time on behalf of my colleagues and there is nothing to suggest that the president is (an) invalid or incapable of delivering on the responsibilities of his office,” the Ekiti State governor said.
According to him, “Our country has challenges and let’s deal with the challenges. We may have subjective or objective criticisms of the president, that is within the realms of politics and public service and I am sure the president doesn’t mind that. However, when we want to do it, let’s be constructive. It’s the Office of the President that you are denigrating when you do that; it is not his person.”
“If the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives feels they are empowered to start an impeachment process, that is their prerogative but the matter of security is beyond partisan politics,” he added.
Fayemi further advised the PDP members in the various security committees in the National Assembly to contribute their quota on how to defeat the insecurity menace in the country.
The governor urged the service chiefs in the country to recommend their successors to the President Buhari.
He said it is not about the sacking of the service chiefs but it is about “transitioning them out of their current responsibilities into retirement”.
He said, “The service chiefs have served the country well, they’ve given their best and they’ve been committed. I know them personally and I know how well they are committed to ensuring that we get rid of this insurgency but the point I am making is that if you have done something, the same thing for five years, and you have even gone beyond your retirement age, of course, once you are a service chief, you may argue that there is no retirement age but the military has protocols, the military has processes and from time to time, one of the real consideration is renewal of the leadership.
“My approach is for Mr. President to ask them in their role as service chiefs who understand the military very well, who know their men very well, to even be the ones to suggest some of the best men that may step into their shoes.
“It’s not about sacking them; it’s about transitioning them out of their current responsibilities into retirement. A part of me even feels that there may be some of them that would rather exit now but they wouldn’t want to be seen as jumping ship if they have not been directed by Mr. President but I am not the president of Nigeria and the president has within his rights to determine how he wants to direct this.
“Our own as governors and field commanders in the 36 states is to let him know the feelings of our people about security in the country and that we will do when we have the meeting.”
Fayemi said the 36 state governors would meet with President very soon and convey the feelings of the people on the insecurity in the country to him.
Meanwhile, the PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives yesterday called on members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to invoke the provisions of Section 144 (1) of the Constitution by declaring President Buhari incapable of ruling the country.
It also called on Nigerians to compel their representatives in the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment proceedings against Buhari for gross incompetence and persistent and continuous breach of Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution.
The Leader of the PDP Caucus, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, disclosed this in a statement issued where he said it was disheartening to the Caucus that the president had failed to lead Nigerians from the front as he promised.
He lamented that Nigerians are daily and defencelessly killed by terrorists and bandits, while the economy is being freely bleed by public officers.
Chinda, while reacting to the recent killing of farmers in Zambarmari area of Borno state, insisted that the reactions of the presidency and the military to such killings highlight a certain crassness and lame duck attitude that has for the past five years come to define the Buhari presidency.
He stated: “The PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives wants Nigerians to compel their representatives in the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment proceedings against President Buhari for gross incompetence and persistent and continuous breach of Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution.
The Section provides “ the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government; …”
“The PDP caucus also wants members of the Federal Executive Council to invoke the provisions of Section 144 (1) of the Constitution by declaring that the President is incapable of discharging the functions of the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Section provides that the President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office, if- by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority if all the members of the executive council of the federation, it is declared that the President or Vice-President is incapable of discharging the functions of his office: “
Chinda stressed that the body language of the government was worrisome as it emboldens terrorists in the country.
He added that the greater worries for the country however, is “the do-nothing posturing” and the effeminate reactions of the presidency and the military that follow the dastardly attacks.
Chinda pointed out that the Caucus had observed with deep pain the dastardly attacks on poor farmers which have continued unabated across the vast swathes of northern Nigeria, which act came to a sad climax over the weekend in Zabarmari, near Maiduguri, north east Nigeria.
The caucus noted that the attacks continue to take a consistent pattern – a pattern that results in mass deaths and emboldens the insurgents to embark on more spectacular attacks that provide them national and global attention.
It regretted that northern Nigeria has long become the vortex of massacres.
Chinda said that from Buni Yadi, Gamboru, Baga, Gwoza, Shiroro, Konduga, Kawuri, Southern Kaduna to Benue and certainly everywhere else in Nigeria, lives are being snatched by insurgents, bandits and kidnappers who have no respect for the sanctity of life. “
According to him, while President Buhari idles in the typical fashion of Emperor Nero as our country burns. Questions must be asked about his capacity to lead at a time that our country desires robust and responsible leadership that can pull it from the brink and rescue it from the debilitions of insurgents, terrorists, bandits and kidnappers.
Chinda stated categorically that Buhari is unwilling- as it consistently appears, to provide leadership to the fast collapsing country.
He noted that rather than take the proverbial bull by the horn, Buhari comfort himself in Aso Rock, typical of a “Mourner-in-Chief”, and issues press statements that make no meaning to a grieving nation.
The Caucus leader reminded the President that a true leader who is worth every ounce of respect leads from the front as he assured Nigerians that you would do; adding that a true leader doesn’t hide away from those he leads and pretends to mourn with the circus, whilst in fact, he lacks empathy and compassion.
Chinda added: “When a country elects a clown as its President based on sentiments and deceit, the country becomes saddled with circus, pantomime jesters who reduce statecraft to utter joke.”
“Our country is in the grips of the clowns, hyenas and the circus is on. We need to rescue Nigeria from the clowns, acrobats, trapeze actors, hawks and hyenas manipulating the statecraft.“
Chinda said it is painful that while leadership is completely absent in Nigeria and the country dovetailing to a state of survival of the fittest, the economy is being fleeced in an unprecedented manner by public office holders.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians across tribe, religion and political party to wake up their National Assembly members and compel them to commence impeachment process against President Buhari to save Nigeria.