Members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the House of Representatives have faulted the threat by the leadership of the House to sanction the leader of the PDP caucus, Mr Kingsley Chinda, over his call for the impeachment of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Chinda had urged Nigerians to prevail on the National Assembly to begin the impeachment process against Buhari over the killing of 43 rice farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram and the abduction of over 340 schoolboys in Kankara, Katsina State.
But the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, had in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Monday, threatened Chinda with sanctions by the House if the PDP leader continued to call for Buhari’s impeachment.
A member from Rivers State, Mr Awaji-Inombek Abiante, in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, however, stated that Chinda had not committed any offence by speaking for his constituents and other Nigerians as their representative.
Abiante dismissed the threat as “a lack of understanding of the responsibilities of a legislative arm of government,” adding that it exposed the “lack of depth.”
Responding to a question on whether members of the PDP caucus were out to defend Chinda, Abiante said, “Does the House have the power to send a member elected by the people of a constituency out of legislative functions? The answer is no. If in the past, people have been so barred, my people elected me to be in the House and I speak on their behalf. Nobody has the right to take me out.”
Chinda had, in his reaction to Ado-Doguwa’s threat, said he was ready to face the consequence of the impeachment calls. “I’m prepared,” he had told our correspondent.
The PDP leader had added in part, “You should ask if it would be fair to Nigerians. I speak for Nigerians. They should ask Nigerians to stop the call for the removal of President. I have the backing of the majority of Nigerians.”
Another PDP member, Farah Dagogo, representing Degema /Bonny Federal Constituency in Rivers State, had also chided Ado-Doguwa for “playing to the gallery.”
Dagogo said the Majority Leader, who was also a legislator in the defunct Third Republic, “ought to be experienced enough to know that Kingsley Chinda did not commit any legislative infraction with his patriotic call.”
The lawmaker described the alleged claim by Ado-Doguwa that the President failed to honour the invitation of the House because of Chinda as “not only ludicrous but has only exposed the leadership of the House to hypocrisy.”
Also, a prominent member of the PDP caucus, Mr Tajudeen Yusuf, had dismissed Ado-Doguwa’s threat as “part of the sycophancy that is killing Nigerian democracy,” adding that the “wishful thinking antagonises the rising concern of Nigeria citizens.”
According to Yusuf, some All Progressives Congress bigwigs’ “nasty” sycophancy is “one of Nigeria’s biggest silent problems and their unending, unthinking and non-critical ‘yes sir’ syndrome is a silent killer of democratic ethos.”