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The National Assembly – Senate and House of Representatives –have continued to have an over bloated sense of the powers the Constitution confers on the legislature. Much as it is the arm of government with the most power, being direct representatives of the people just like the President who was voted by every Nigerian, the conduct of their affairs has made mockery of what the hallowed legislature is meant to be. The latest in the errant direction chosen by these people paid on public fund is to chasing ghosts as evident in the shabby attempt to indict the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo of illegally approving N5.9 billion in disaster relief funding. Being the gentleman that he is, the Vice President took time to address the members that cooked up the misleading report.
But they had, in an attempt to get at the Presidency, aimed further down the hierarchy at those that answer to the Presidency. The report for instance demanded for the sack of the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Engineer Mustapha Maihaja. They brought a comical perspective into their report when they asked that employees of the agency that were suspended after being indicted for corruption be reinstated – that gives an indication into what else motivates them other than a hatred of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo. There is a long list of other heads of agency that the lawmakers have asked the President to sack. Ibrahim Magu of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission comes to mind same as Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector General of Police. The Service Chiefs have not been spared as the lawmakers at some point made the demand for their sack their raison d’être. They had at some point come even lower to ask for the sack of Jimoh Moshood as spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force. In between using their oversight function as a blackmail tool to shake down public office holders and abusing their sacred office to witch hunt President Buhari, they practically investigated every single head of agency looking for a smoking gun to pursue the impeachment notice they never get around to drafting. The only person to have escaped their angst is the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari. With the fact that they are fast running short of options – those they have investigated refused to play ball – it is a matter of time they will investigate Aisha Buhari. It will be interesting to see what indictment they will bring against her. She could be guilty of being the wife of the president – guilt by association. She could be guilty of not being flamboyant enough; guilty of not spending enough money or spending too much money; guilty of not supporting her husband enough especially with her occasional criticisms. Just any accusation will do so far as it targets someone connected to the President. But Aisha Buhari definitely cannot continue to be the only one yet to be investigated by a National Assembly that has become the police and the law court in addition to its statutory role of law-making and oversight function. When the lawmakers are done investigating her, they will in their tradition, indict her of anything they fancy and come to the inevitable recommendation that President Buhari must sack her before they will consider the 2019 Budget. So just when will the National Assembly ask President Buhari to sack his wife? It is the pattern they have adopted. It is the strategy they want to use with NEMA by demanding for Maihaja’s sack – it is a matter of time before they go off the cliff and even ask for Vice President Osinbajo’s sack. It is a matter of anything to create distraction for the executive arm. This obsession proves they are the problem as opposed to the solution they are presenting themselves to be. As eloquently articulated in Professor Osinbajo’s response to their fictitious report, NEMA was able to act in the interest of displaced persons and disaster victims, who would have practically starved under the method they are proposing. Even with the acceleration of the intervention, due process was still followed to ensure that all the relevant stakeholders made the input necessary. Perhaps these are technicalities that the lawmakers would never be able to comprehend for as long as they are fixated on making money and exacting their pound of flesh from the Presidency. The same way President Buhari has looked beyond lie mongering to retain the best hands he has on board is the way he must not be drawn into taking knee jerking reactions to the House Report, which would be falling into the trap they have in mind for him. If he sacks Maihaja, the next thing the lawmakers will ask for is the sack of the Vice President and finally the President himself – all based on the report of an investigation that was not even transparently held in the open.

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Politics

Buhari Was Not Really Prepared For Governance’ – Atiku

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Analytics 2 239 1 1 - Buhari Was Not Really Prepared For Governance’ – Atiku
Buhari

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign for admitting on Friday that the nation’s economy was in bad shape. Buhari reportedly made the confession during his meeting with the 36 governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr Phrank Shaibu,  on Sunday,  Atiku said the President’s confession that the economy was in bad shape was not only a  ploy to attract the sympathy of Nigerians but also aimed at getting a soft landing.

He said,  “The result, of course, is his confession of failure on the eve of our general elections in the hope that millions of Nigerians, whom he has condemned to poverty and hardship, will give him a clap for failing abysmally. “I dare say that President Buhari has miscalculated badly on this matter because Nigerians are simply fed up with him.

“The economy has collapsed under his watch and he has by this frank remark admitted that he has no idea on how to fix it and that is why he summoned the governors to help him.

“This is really very sad because President Buhari has run out of time and what Nigerians need now is leadership which has the political will, administrative experience and sound economic acumen to get Nigeria working again.”

The former Vice-President expressed his disappointment that Buhari had continued to blame the PDP for the country’s bad economy, saying the President had reportedly confirmed that he was incapable of fixing the economy.

Atiku said Buhari should step down from his position since the economy was in bad shape.

He said Buhari’s admission had confirmed the British multinational bank HSBC’s prediction that re-electing him in 2019 could plunge Nigeria into a deeper economic hardship.

Atiku said, “Unless those in charge of the APC and the party’s supporters are, as usual, suffering from some form of self-delusion, it just does not make any sense for them to say that the All Progressives Congress’ Federal Government has  brought succour to ordinary Nigerians when President Buhari himself has admitted to  the governors that the economy has gone beyond his control.

“Or do we need a prophet to tell us that the President’s admission is a vindication of our long-held position,  and indeed the forecast by HSBC recently cited by the Nigerian media where the bank said a second term for Buhari would greatly affect the economy of the country?”

He added, “The exchange rate of the naira to the US dollar when the APC assumed office in 2015 was about N170 (official rate) to $1. Today it is N360 to $1. Today millions of Nigerians, most of them youths, are unemployed, forcing them to become professional beggars who wait for the  FG’s monthly N5,000 handout and N10,000 Tradermoni aimed at bribing them to re-elect the party in the forthcoming elections.

“Power generation has actually dipped from 4,949 megawatts, which the PDP left in 2015 to less than 3,500 megawatts even though Buhari’s managers consistently claim that 7,000 megawatts are what the country is currently generating. What more evidence do we need to know that the APC has been a curse rather than a blessing to our country?”

Atiku lamented that the President had failed to apply new methods in addressing the challenges facing the country.

He said, “Our  President is still living in the Paleolithic age of blame game and buck-passing as responsible for his failures.

“What this simply means is that President Buhari was not really prepared for governance and did not even understand the simplest intricacies of running a national economy as big as Nigeria.

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“This is really tragic and it is obvious that President Buhari has come to the end of the road and has completely given up on the next steps to advance Nigeria, while those who his dear wife openly declared misled his administration into this economic quagmire are still drumming up support for his next level of more hardship, suffering, unprovoked deaths as a result of mis-governance.”

He said the President was tired and should, therefore, be asked to return “to his much cherished sedentary, pastoral and rustic lifestyle in his country home in Daura and then leave the rigours and highly strategic art of governance to those who know how to govern and get the economy working again.”

But the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said he would not comment on the issue.

He referred The PUNCH to the spokesman for the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu.

Adesina said, “I don’t respond to PDP issues. Whenever it is the PDP, talk to the APC. Journalists should know this.”

When reminded that the question was on Atiku’s call for  Buhari to resign for admitting that the economy was in bad shape, Adesina said he would not talk.

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