Amid trading of blame between the government and the lawmakers over growing insecurity and declining economic conditions in the country in recent times, a group has called for restraint over moves by the National Assembly to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari.
Members of the group, called Non-State Actors Consultative forum (NOSACOF), said the current economic and security challenges bedevilling the country should not be blamed on the Presidency alone.
With the general socio-economic conditions of the country getting worse in recent months, and more and more Nigerians falling below the poverty line, while terrorism by bandits and faceless terrorists acting against defenceless citizens continuing with little resistance from the Nigeria’s security apparatus, the group said it’s members feel a sense of responsibility to lend their voice in defence of democracy and the unity of Nigeria.
Economically, the group noted that inflation has been rising, while citizens have been finding it extremely difficult to keep up with the high cost of living.
Lead Convener of the group, Abdulrazaq Alkali, said accusing fingers and counter accusations have been pointing between citizens and the government as well as between warring ethnic nationalities.
Alkali, in a statement also signed by the Co-convener of the group, Ernest Bako, said while majority of Nigerians blame the Buhari-led Federal Government for not fulfilling its promisesa on improving and protecting lives and properties of citizens, the government, in turn, was accusing some citizens of selfishness and not fulfilling their citizenry duty of community policing.
Rather, the government said some of these citizens were colluding with terrorists and serving as informant for the terror groups, thus making it difficult for the Nigerian security operatives to overcome them.
“While there are some truths to both arguments, one thing that stands out and contributes to the shortcomings from both parties (citizens and leaders) can be related to economic challenges the country is facing,” Alkali said.
Alkali however, said the recent economic challenges the country was facing were largely a global phenomenon resulting from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
He said Nigerians have been finding it more challenging to grapple with the situation compared to other countries due to the problems inherited from the previous administrations, which failed to invest in agriculture, infrastructure, crude oil refining and in modernising the security infrastructure.
“All these have combined to make the insecurity problems more complex to solve. Amidst all these turbulence, legislative chambers in Nigeria are most at times full of drama’s due to the incompetent behaviour of some of the legislators, with a dangerously new twist unfolding in the National Assembly, where some members of the opposition and some disgruntled members of the ruling party are making moves for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari and fuelling accusations and sentiments against the president and his team in order to get the backing of Nigerians.
In making these moves, the group said the lawmakers failed to look at the failures of both chambers of the National Assemblies, and how their incompetences have contributed to the worsening economic and security situations in Nigeria.
“The current security problems of Nigeria today have been as a result of accumulation of years of incompetence, selfishness, greed, injustice and corruption perpetrated by mostly political leaders who are shielded by ethnic and religious entities, a weak and corrupt justice system and to some extend by common citizens.
“As such despite some weaknesses on the part the President, Muhammad Buhari, it will be unjust to lay all the blames on his table and start calling for his impeachment.
Rather the legislators should focus on finding real solutions of making citizens-oriented legislations that will bring solutions to the insecurities tormenting the country.
“They have also failed to carry out their oversight functions on the various security arms of the government despite billions of dollars budgeted for security.
Instead, majority of the lawmakers focusing their attention on befriending the head of these agencies in their chase for getting contracts and other financial gains. And that we have come to realize the move to impeach the president is orchestrated by mostly members of the ruling APC who lost out at the presidential primaries and senatorial elections of the party.
“Most of those in the forefront of the impeachment moves are agents of some defeated candidates that will benefit if the president is impeached. While there are others supporting the impeachment out of sheer frustration to pull down the APC since they won’t return to the red chambers having been defeated earlier in the contest.”
The group faulted the impeachment moves by the lawmakers, saying they contravened the provisions of section 143 of the 1999 constitution as amended, which requires legislators, after having the numbers in support of the move.
“It is very clear that the promoters of the impeachment neither have the numbers nor the facts and evidence to successfully impeach the president.
“They just want to serve a selfish motive and interest. It is imperative for well meaning Nigerians not to allow themselves to be used by the selfish interest of a few, whose action will worsen the fragile situation in this country.
“It is very important for Nigerians to exercise caution and allow democratic process to take place through proper electoral transition.
“The general election is just around the corner, and the current administration will leave less than a year from now. The ball is now in our court as Nigerians to vote for competent leaders for both executive and legislative positions and to make sure that those we voted for next will put the interest of citizens first in everything they do,” the group said.