By Udora Orizu
The House of Representatives has faulted reports that it apologised to President Muhammadu Buhari for inviting him earlier this month to brief it on the worsening security situation in the country.
The spokesperson of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, in a statement yesterday said: ”It has come to the knowledge of the House that few sections of the media reported that the House apologised to the presidency over the resolution of the House, which arose from the motion sponsored by members from Borno State, requesting for the invitation of the president to brief the nation on the state of insecurity in the country.
”The president or the presidency as the case may be, never sought for an apology from the House of Representatives for carrying out her constitutional responsibility to the Nigerian electorate. Where then did the media get the report that the House as an institution apologised to anyone? Media professionals are advised to uphold the ethics of their profession.
”For the avoidance of doubt, the House never apologised to anyone for exercising her constitutional mandate and the 9th Assembly of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila will not do anything to desecrate or destroy the critical institution of democracy – the legislature. We strongly believe that President Buhari subscribes to these democratic ethos and ideals as well.”
The House, via a motion on December 1, 2020, had invited the president to appear before it to brief it on the nation’s security.
The invitation followed the gruesome killing of over 43 rice farmers in Zarbamari village, Borno State.
Following the House resolution, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had led a delegation to the president to formally inform him about the resolution and to find out when it will be convenient for him to honour the invitation.
Gbajabiamila had told State House correspondents after meeting with the president that Buhari had agreed to honour the invitation.
The presidency, corroborating the speaker’s statement, had announced that December 10 had been slated for Buhari’s appearance.
But a day before his commitment to honour the invitation, Buhari had walked back on his promise.
The presidency cited the constitution, which the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), said does not confer the power to summon the president on the National Assembly, for Buhari’s change of mind.
But the lawmakers, while faulting Malami for querying its power to invite the president, had insisted that it’s still awaiting official communication from the presidency to know why Buhari backtracked after agreeing to appear before the House.
However, a media report on Sunday had said the House had dropped the invitation and subsequently apologised to the president for inviting him.
The report said the sponsors of the motion secretly apologised.