Contrary to the impression that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP acted outside the resolution reached at a closed session of the Senate when the minority leader, and senator representing the federal capital territory, FCT, Phillip Aduda, announced an impeachment move against President Muhammadu Buhari, if he failed to arrest the worsening insecurity in the country within six weeks, a prominent member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa, representing Bauchi North senatorial district, has confirmed that the decision was almost unanimously adopted by all lawmakers present at the meeting.
Recall that Senator Aduda had at plenary on Wednesday July 27, said “We are here to tell Nigerians that as senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are disappointed with the way the worsening security situation across the country is being handled.
“We held a closed-door session for two hours where it was resolved that the issue will be deliberated upon in plenary with an agreed resolution to give President Muhammadu Buhari six weeks to address it or face impeachment by both chambers of the National Assembly”.
Controversy had, however, trailed the outcome of the meeting following the shooting down of the motion by the senate president, Ahmad Lawan, with the opposition being accused of mischief.
But speaking Monday night on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, Senator Bulkachuwa affirmed the decision to initiate impeachment move against the president, insisting that majority of the senators across party lines supported it. He said having done everything to get the president to address the problem of insecurity but failed, they decided to “pull” his ears by way of notice of impeachment in order to give him a chance to do something.
Giving an account of what actually transpired, he explained that “In the first instance, on that day, the Senate went into a closed session, and it was at the closed session that these issues were discussed. And without divulging so much, I can tell you that the majority of senators really felt there was need to initiate that action… It was almost unanimous; it wasn’t hundred percent unanimous per se. But the majority supported it. And this thing didn’t come out to public knowledge because it was during a closed session; and you know at closed session, there are no journalists, not even the staff of the assembly”.
Senator Bulkachuwa, who joined other opposition lawmakers to stage a walkout after the senate president shot down Aduda’s motion, disagreed with the suggestion that things are falling apart in the ruling party.
According to him, “It’s not the question of the party per se. What is happening is that we in the legislative arm of government, we have tried all within our power, except one thing. We have tried financing, making sure that the president has all he needs by way of budgeting. We tried to even engage service chiefs and other security personnel to try to find out what are their problems and when they divulged their problems to us, we tried to proffer solutions, and we go ahead and advise Mr. President.
“And when we realised that all that has not actually worked, the security situation was getting worse; and even the financial situation in the country is not improving, so, we thought, well, we are just one arm of government, and we are limited in the execution of proposals, and in the actual enforcement of suggestions and laws, we are not responsible for that. What we can do is try to draw the attention of the executive that look, we have tried everything; the only thing we have not tried is we have to draw your attention to the fact that we have the constitutional responsibility to pull your ears, as it were, by way of notice of impeachment and give you chance whether you can do something|”.
Bulkachuwa believed that with the impeachment threat, something could happen “and we are still hopeful. If you notice, since that day, Mr. President met with security chiefs. And you know within the security apparatus, so many changes have occurred. When you want to achieve results, you have to try a system, a method, before you hope for results to emerge”.
Admitting that the government had not lived up to expectation in its campaign promises to provide security and improve the economy, Bulkachuwa expressed disappointment at lack of accountability in his party by way of sanctions.
In his words, “We have noticed all that, otherwise the notice of impeachment wouldn’t arise. …In every management situation, there is this popular saying that you have to apply carrot and stick. But we noticed that none of these exists; no carrot, no stick. Take the instance of Kuje prison break; have you realised that nobody was punished? And it’s a thing of concern for the senate to show the Nigerian public that it’s not that we don’t care; no, it is because we are trying everything within the law to see that things improve for the better”.
Reacting to the speculation that about 10 senators were planning to dump the party because of dissatisfaction with what is happening, Senator Bulkachuwa said “Well, if it is from what you have heard or what you have read, I was also included, but I am in APC. If I was planning to leave, what else would I still be waiting for? Please, we are looking for solutions to Nigeria’s problems, not our personal problems. So, what I am addressing here are the solutions and we can only do it as a senate, or as individuals as members of the senate; it doesn’t matter which party you belong. We have the same responsibility; whether you are in PDP, YPP, whatever political party you belong to. Your principal responsibility as a senator is trying to solve the problems of the nation”.