United Progressive Party (UPP), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider his northernisation project in the interest of the unity and peace of Nigeria.
The call was contained in a Press Statement signed by UPP National Chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie, and made available to The UNION via email, Thursday.
UPP described President Buhari’s appointments as “lopsided”. It also said they were “unsettling” just as it reminded the President that his action thus far, works against the spirit and letters of the Federal Character principle as enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution.
UPP said: “The lopsided nature of the appointments into key and strategic Public Offices by President Muhammadu Buhari is unsettling. We urge the President to review these appointments to reflect the spirit and letters of the Federal Character provision of the Nigerian Constitution which he swore an oath to uphold and defend at his inauguration as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We believe that he will stand out as a man of honour, consideration and integrity if he shows sensitivity to public concern over the exceeding lopsidedness of his appointment to public office”.
Calling of President Buhari to make a rethink, UPP said “We make this recommendation for the review of these appointments out of genuine patriotic disposition as a friendly opposition political party”.
The party also commented on alleged plot to raise issues of impeachment against the President describing it as “satanic, subversive and dangerous”.
It said those contemplating the idea would do the country some good to banish same.
“Our attention has been drawn to some threats emanating from some persons in the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari for unspecified impeachable offences”, UPP said adding that “we wish to state unequivocally that such thoughts at this point in time are satanic, subversive and dangerous. It should be erased completely from the minds of those contemplating such move”.
The party noted that “any such act of vengeance will be most unpopular, unpatriotic and condemnable. All hands must be on deck to salvage our country from its present state of economic downturn, excruciating poverty and security challenges”.
It however reminded the National Assembly that “in the spirit of separation of powers as clearly defined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended, it behooves the National Assembly and its leadership to submit themselves to the judicial process with regard to the on-going trial of some top Officers of the Senate on forgery accusation. It must not be seen that the National Assembly is resorting to the blackmail of the Executive arm of government in order to achieve any form of soft-landing for its Officers who are already facing trial”.
On issue of immunity for principal officers of the National Assembly, UPP said such must never be allowed in Nigeria.
It wondered why any person would contemplate such for elected representatives.
“We hold the view that it is absolutely in bad fate for some of our legislators to propose to seek to include in the on-going amendment of the Constitution of the country, provision for the immunity of principal officers of the National Assembly. It is the general position of majority of Nigerians that the immunity provision as currently stated in the 1999 Constitution as amended, should be amended to remove criminal proceedings in the immunity clause, such that the President, the Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors will not be immune from criminal proceedings when such offences are committed by any of them.
“This feeling of most Nigerians is as a result of the impunity, recklessness, corruption and the insensitive conduct of majority of those who are protected by the immunity clause. It is therefore disturbing that some of our elected legislators wish to add the principal officers of the National Assembly to the long list of those acting with impunity and polluting our democracy.
“More disturbing is the fact that each time there is effort to amend the Nigerian Constitution a proposed obnoxious provision rears its head to scuttle the entire exercise especially after huge scarce public resources had been expended in the process of constitutional amendment.
“We remember with sadness how the attempt to include a provision for a third term under President Olusegun Obasanjo administration completely scuttled all the efforts put in to amend the constitution at that time. In the same manner another effort for constitutional amendment ended up in the archives after President Goodluck Jonathan refused to promulgate the already concluded exercise because of an innocuous provision that was interpreted by the Presidency to reduce, in a very minimal way, the powers of the President”, the party reminded.