President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday jettisoned an invitation from the House of Representatives to render accounts for his handling of national security, officially confirming Peoples Gazette’s report that said he had withdrawn from the interactive session with federal lawmakers.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila announced last week that the president had agreed to brief the junior parliament on December 10, on his administration’s strategy in addressing widespread kidnapping, armed banditry and insurgency, following the horrific massacre of scores of farmers in troubled Borno State.
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu also confirmed the Speaker’s announcement in a statement, saying the president would be at the parliament on Thursday morning.
Mr. Buhari’s no-show has, however, validated the Gazette, which had exclusively reported the president’s decision to back out of the meeting amidst fears that he could be exposed as too frail to govern or not mentally-aware of the heightened security situation in the country.
The Gazette reported on Tuesday that some top allies of Mr. Buhari, led by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, had rebuked the Speaker during an APC national caucus meeting for allowing the president to be railroaded into the meeting, where he would be quizzed by enraged lawmakers on the escalating chaos across the federation.
Sources at the meeting had confided in the Gazette that the president appeared to have endorsed Gov. El-Rufai’s scolding of Mr. Gbajabiamila, having failed to intervene.
Our story was first confirmed when Attorney-General Abubakar Malami argued on Wednesday that the National Assembly lacked the powers to summon the president.
“The right of the President to engage the National Assembly and appear before it is inherently discretionary in the President and not at the behest of the National Assembly,” Mr. Malami said in a statement.
President Buhari has repeatedly assured of his administration’s commitment in strengthening national security, but recurring vicious onslaught on Nigerians by terrorists, as well as the president’s enduring defiance to sack service chiefs who are largely deemed incompetent, has left his supposed effort in tatters.