Senate minority leader and representative of the good people of Abia south senatorial district, Senator Abariba startled his colleagues when he asked for the immediate resignation of President Buhari over the continuous security challenges faced in the country.
The call by the Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to resign immediately based on Buhari’s inability to curtail the alarming security challenges in the country caused a stir on the floor of the red chamber on Wednesday.
Abaribe spoke after the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, presented his motion on rising security challenges in the country.
Abaribe said the attitude of the president to insecurity in the country, surprised him. He said those who live by propaganda will die by propaganda.
Abaribe said he was building up to the fact that they said Boko Haram has been defeated. He said the hard work that was supposed to be done to secure the country was not done because of the propaganda. He said excuses for non-performance is now staring them in the face.
He said Niger and Jos killings by Boko Haram terrorists indicated that the insurgency war was far from over. He said the opposition members in the National Assembly are of the opinion that Buhari should resign from office.
He said,” Nigerians will go to the government and ask the government to resign because they did not elect the chief of staff, the police IG, service chiefs and others.
“Nigerians voted a government into power. We are going with stones to stone them now because they have failed.”
When the uproar generated by Abaribe subsided, Senator Abdullahi Adamu said Abaribe’s submissions were unnecessary.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, also appealed to his colleagues to approach the issue with caution.
Mr. Abaribe, who was the first to contribute to the motion, faulted the president for failing to tackle the security challenges in the country. He wondered why the president would claim to be surprised at the rising insecurity in the country.
Mr. Abaribe also called out a presidential media aide for referring to the Christian Association of Nigeria as a political party after the body condemned killings by Boko Haram.
“When I was coming, I saw a newspaper headline of THISDAY, the commander-in-chief expresses shock at the level of violent crime, in other words, Mr. President was expressing surprise, but, according to our rules – Order 53(13), I will not go into that but I can only say in pidgin English ‘this surprise, surprise me.’
“I want to say, Mr. President, if you didn’t insist that we will not be partisan I’d have called out the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, who, when the CAN leaders complained about the killings of a priest, he turned around and said CAN was acting like a political party.
“Now that we are talking about it here, let me hear him say that all of us are acting like a political party when many are complaining about these incessant deaths in this country,” he said.
While stressing the need to “get to the root of this matter”, the lawmaker said, “those who live by propaganda will die by propaganda.”
At this point, he was interrupted by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who asked the Minority Leader to “stick to the topic being discussed.”
But, Mr. Abaribe continued: “Boko Haram has been defeated, Nigeria is now safer, everything that was being done to make sure that the hard work that was supposed to be done in securing Nigeria was not done because certain people did not do their work but preferred to cover the eyes of Nigerians with propaganda and trying to find all these excuses for non-performance, have now come to stare us in the face.
“Nigeria did not elect the IGP, we did not elect the chief of staff, we did not elect the joint-chiefs or national security adviser. We elected the government of APC in 2015 and re-elected them in 2019. The reason we re-elected them is that they continued to tell us that they had the key to security.
“When you want to deal with a matter, you go to the head, so we will go to the government and ask this government to resign because they can no longer do anything,” he said.
He was again interrupted by Mr. Lawan who warned him against being partisan.
“Let me remind you once again that Nigerians voted for APC in 2015 and because they saw improvement in their lives they voted APC again in 2019. “I don’t want to be partisan and advise against hate speech,” the Senate President noted.
Making his final note, Mr. Abaribe said: “government even said if ‘we don’t perform, stone us’, we are going with the stones to stone them now.”
This time, he was stopped.
A Nasarawa senator, Abdullahi Adamu, stood up to condemn Mr. Abaribe’s comments and demanded that he withdraw them.
Amidst the insecurity, the presidency has said Nigerians have reasons to be grateful as the security situation is better than it was before President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office.
“We know what the situation was as of 2015 and we know what it is today. Despite the reversals in security, it is still not as bad as it used to be in this country,” Femi Adesina, President Buhari’s spokesperson, said recently.
However, the presidency through the office of the SSA to the president on media and publicity in a series of tweets by Garba Shehu has described senator Abariba’s statement as foolish. He also blamed Senator Abariba’s party for the problems in the nation.
He said President Buhari is cleaning up the mess of the PDP and also accused Senator Abariba of aiding Nnamdi Kanu’s escape.