Presidency Deplores Breakup Threats, Says Buhari Won’t Succumb to Pressure

2
Mallam Garba Shehu

“The President as an elected leader under this constitution will continue to work with patriotic Nigerians, through and in line with the parliamentary processes to finding solutions to structural and other impediments to the growth and wellbeing of the nation and its people”

Charles Ajunwa

As tempers flare over the state of the nation, the Presidency has reiterated its resolve not to be stampeded into taking hasty measures which may be counter-productive to the yearnings and aspirations of majority of Nigerians.

In a series of tweets yesterday, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, to the President, Garba Shehu, apparently responding to the activities of war mongers behind an orchestrated campaign of a possible breakup of the country, as a result of the rising insecurity and the clamour for restructuring, said the president won’t be intimidated.

Shehu also warned those issuing threats to the president, “to take certain actions”, to desist from such.
He stressed that the President, as an elected leader under this constitution, “will continue to work with patriotic Nigerians, through and in line with the Parliamentary processes to finding solutions to structural and other impediments to the growth and wellbeing of the nation and its people.”

Shehu tweeted: “The Presidency responds to the recurring threats to the corporate existence of the country with factions giving specific timelines for the President to do one thing or another or else, in their language, ‘the nation will break up’.

“This is to warn that such unpatriotic outbursts are both unhelpful and unwarranted, as this government will not succumb to threats and take any decision out of pressure at a time when the nation’s full attention is needed to deal with the security challenges facing it at a time of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“Repeat: this administration will not take any decision against the interests of 200 million Nigerians, who are the President’s first responsibility under the constitution, out of fear or threats, especially in this hour of health crisis.”
Also reacting to criticisms trailing the decision of President Buhari to change his mind about honouring the invitation of the National Assembly over the recent killings of 43 farmers in Maiduguri, Borno State, Shehu stated that the President “is committed to parliamentary processes.”

One of the Presidential aides, Lauretta Onochie, had earlier in the week given the assurances of her principal to honour the lawmakers’ invitation, but Buhari changed his mind following the position of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).

The Presidency cited the constitution, which the Attorney-General said did not confer the power to summon the president on the National Assembly, for Buhari’s change of mind.

However, the minister’s position elicited divergent reactions from a cross-section of stakeholders, with Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, concurring with him, while the House Minority Caucus, and lawyers differed.

Notwithstanding the Presidency’s clarification, the House spokesman, Hon. Ben Kalu, told THISDAY earlier in the week that lawmakers were still expecting the president to fulfill his promise to appear before them.

Kalu anchored his position on the fact that the House has not been formally notified that the president would no longer honour the invitation.
House Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, had told State House reporters last Wednesday, when he led a delegation to convey the House’s invitation to Buhari that the president had pledged to honour the invitation.

The summoning of the president followed the consideration of a motion on December 1, moved by Hon. Satomi Ahmed, on behalf of 10 other Borno State federal lawmakers, to summon Buhari and, to amongst other things, declare a state of emergency in some areas to tackle the worsening insecurity.