Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Barde, yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to explain to Nigerians why he interfered in the leadership crisis at the House by insisting that Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila be made Majority leader.
It will be recalled that over the weekend that Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila had said, “but on principle, the President did not accept it, my party did not accept it and I thank God for the kind of confidence they have in me to be able to deliver the goods for the party.
Who am I to say no? It was on principle that we stayed on course”. But in a statement signed by the Minority Whip in Abuja yesterday, Barde said it was shocking that President Buhari had meddled in the affairs of the leadership in the House of Representatives after he had publicly said he would not do so.
“President Buhari owes Nigerians some explanations over this ugly revelation by Hon. Gbajabiamila because the picture we are getting now is of a president who does not belong to everybody but to a few people. “It is either one of them lied to Nigerians or both men jointly and separately lied.
“If as Gbajabiamila claimed, Buhari did influence his emergence as House leader, it will rather be unfortunate that the president is not a man of his words and Nigerians should now begin to scrutinize every word that emanates from his mouth. “We are alarmed by this development because it portends grave danger for our democracy and the independence of the legislature”, Barde said in the statement.
According to the Minority Whip, the president must resist the temptation to use his power and influence to compromise the institution of the National Assembly by directly involving himself in the process of emergence of the principal officers.
“Buhari said he was ready to work with anyone who emerges and went ahead to reiterate this stance in his famous inaugural address “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”. “We will continue to resist any attempt to compromise the independence of the House as protected by the constitution. “Meanwhile, Nigerians deserve to know the truth of what actually transpired in the process that led to Gbajabiamila`s emergence”, he said.
-Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja