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Anenih cautions NASS against impeachment

By Sunny Ogefere
21 July 2016   |   2:02 am
The alleged plot by members of the National Assembly to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari has been attracting diverse comments from across the spectrum of the society even when ...

Tony-Anenih

• Urges Makarfi to prevail on PDP members  

The alleged plot by members of the National Assembly to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari has been attracting diverse comments from across the spectrum of the society even when there have been some denials.

Most of the reactions to the move have been critical of the federal legislators. An elder statesman and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih has added his voice to the criticism saying it was uncalled for and retrogressive.

Besides, he has charged the Chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, to discourage the PDP caucus in the National Assembly from getting involved in what he described as “ill-advised adventure” of removing President Buhari from office.

In a letter he personally addressed to Makarfi, dated July 15, 2016, Anenih said he was convinced that the time was neither right nor the reasons persuasive enough to contemplate the impeachment of the President.

He urged the PDP leader to personally lead the process of consultation with PDP members in the National Assembly, with a view to getting them to play a nationalistic, rather than prejudiced role especially at this time of national socio-economic uncertainty.

“I am constrained to write this letter by my love for our great country and my long years of involvement in the pursuit of peace, co-existence and national development.

“I feel even more disturbed that the PDP Caucus is being rumoured to be actively involved in this plan to ‘go for the jugular’ of the Executive. The rumoured role of the PDP Caucus is, indeed, the main reason I have chosen to write this letter to you.

“I wish to appeal to you to use your noble office as the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of our great party to dissuade our party members, in the National Assembly, from embarking on or participating in this ill-advised adventure. I am persuaded, Sir, that the time is neither right nor the reasons compelling enough to contemplate the impeachment of the President,” he stated in the letter.

Anenih, who is the Iyasele of Esanland, observed that though the National Assembly may have its grouse against the President, the options of consultation, dialogue and negotiation must be exhausted.

Furthermore, he said: “I do not believe an attempt at impeachment, at this time, is in the best interests of the party, or the country. Such a move will create tension, instability and even crisis in our body politic. It will unleash all those fissiparous forces, which in the last few months, have begun to gain momentum.

According to him, as the main opposition party, PDP should concern itself with an inward review of why Nigerians lost faith in the party and in its vision for Nigeria and focus on how regain the lost trust.

In addition, he said that as an opposition, the expectation should be constructive criticism of the ruling party when it goes wrong stressing that playing an active role in the internal power struggles between factions of the ruling APC was an unnecessary distraction and an exercise that appeared to promote personal agenda rather than national interest.

The former minister of Works also commented on the country’s economy, saying that though the economy was in bad shape with many suffering, it was time to rally round and proffer solutions instead of looking for scapegoats.

His words: “It is a well known fact that all oil-producing countries are suffering from an economic down-turn because of the radical drop in the price of crude oil. As a mono-product economy, dependent on crude oil, there is no magic bubble that could have insulated us completely from the systemic shocks caused by the attendant loss of revenue.

Rather than seek scapegoats, the situation demands that all our institutions, political parties and leaders should set aside all partisan interests, and work together to wade through these difficult times.

“I am not unaware that the times are hard; that Nigerians are groaning under the weight of unpaid salaries and astronomical increases in the cost of living, that ballooning security problems are increasingly threatening to rip apart the fabric of our national existence, and that Nigerians feel more divided today than they have ever felt, but it would be unfair to blame this President or this Government for all of these problems,” he stated.

Besides, he agued that the National Assembly did not advance any of these problems as justification for the threat of the impeachment plots.

“It is, therefore, my wish and prayer that you, personally, lead the process of consultation with our members in the National Assembly, with a view to getting them to play a patriotic, rather than partisan role, at this time of national economic and social uncertainty,” he concluded.