By Yusuf Adua
President Muhamadu Buhari who had earlier agreed on honouring the invitation by the House of Representatives to address lawmakers on his administration’s effort in combating rising insecurity walked back on his promise yesterday.
The presidency cited the constitution, which the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), said does not confer the power to summon the president on the National Assembly, for Buhari’s change of mind.
However, the minister’s position has spurred divergent reactions from a cross-section of stakeholders, with Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, concurring with him while the House Minority Caucus and lawyers saw it differently.
Notwithstanding the presidency’s clarification, the House spokesman, Hon. Ben Kalu, told journalists yesterday that lawmakers were still expecting the president to fulfill his promise to appear before them today.
Kalu insisted that the House has not been formally notified that the president would no longer honour the invitation.
House Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila had told State House reporters last Wednesday when he led a delegation to convey the House’s invitation to Buhari that the president had pledged to honour the invitation.
The summoning of the president followed the consideration of a motion on December 1, moved by Hon. Satomi Ahmed, on behalf of 10 other Borno State federal lawmakers, to send for President Buhari, and to amongst other things, declare a state of emergency in some areas to tackle the devastating security situation.
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