How plot against Buhari failed at House of Reps

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi

Forces within and out­side the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives failed to get the lower cham­ber to set up a med­i­cal panel on the health of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, Daily Trust has learnt.

Sources told Daily Trust KEEP DO­NAT­ING TO THE yes­ter­day in Abuja that the forces had wanted the panel to be made up of six mem­bers – one each from the six geopo­lit­i­cal zones.

The panel was to visit Pres­i­dent Buhari in Lon­don to de­ter­mine his state of health, sources said.

The ul­ti­mate aim, the sources said, was to get a re­port stat­ing that the pres­i­dent was in­ca­pac­i­tated and so should

“hon­ourably re­sign” from of­fice.

The pres­i­dent has been away on med­i­cal va­ca­tion in Lon­don since May 7.

Daily Trust gath­ered that the move be­gan last month fol­low­ing rumours that the pres­i­dent was in­ca­pac­i­tated.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, some mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) in the House made sev­eral at­tempts to come up with a mo­tion to con­sti­tute a panel, made up of med­i­cal doc­tors, to visit the pres­i­dent in Lon­don.

A source said 19 mem­bers, mostly from the South South and South East, met sev­eral times on how to come up with the mo­tion, which would have been pre­sented be­fore the House em­barked on its an­nual re­cess late July.

How­ever, it was gath­ered that the lead­er­ship of the House, led by Speaker Yakubu Dog­ara, re­sisted the move and told the mem­bers that the sit­u­a­tion did not war­rant any such ac­tion.

Re­spond­ing to Daily Trust in­quiry on the mat­ter, a law­maker said: “It is very true. 19 mem­bers from the south­ern part of the coun­try were the ones meet­ing and spear­head­ing the whole thing.

“In fact, one of them told me how they went about it. They signed a doc­u­ment re­gard­ing that, and they were poised to re­cruit more of their ilk.

“But Dog­ara was gentleman enough to stop it. He said that would never hap­pen un­der his watch. He coun­selled them, so they couldn’t even come up with the mo­tion on the floor of the House,” the law­maker, who did not want to be named said.

An­other source said: “Some pow­er­ful forces in the coun­try made spir­ited at­tempts to get the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to set up a panel of seven mem­bers: one from each of the six geo po­lit­i­cal zones to visit Lon­don to as­cer­tain the true health of the Pres­i­dent.

“The forces that rep­re­sented pow­er­ful in­ter­ests used some mem­bers of the House to ap­proach the Speaker to con­sti­tute the com­mit­tee.

“Sens­ing what they were up to, the Speaker told them to bring up the mat­ter as a mo­tion. In fact, he said they should come un­der a sub­stan­tive mo­tion, and you know what it means to do that.

“They pushed hard and tried to con­vince him that the is­sue does not re­quire a mo­tion; that it is too sen­si­tive to ta­ble a mo­tion on it as it may gen­er­ate ten­sion in the cham­ber, so he should just use his pow­ers as Speaker to an­nounce that the lead­er­ship has set up the panel.

“But he re­fused. He told them that mat­ters like this can only be de­cided by the whole House and as such, it should be pre­sented un­der a sub­stan­tive mo­tion and will be sub­jected to vote by mem­bers.

“If it scaled through, the House would pro­ceed to set up the panel. They told the Speaker that they will go and draft the mo­tion. He never heard from them again,” an­other source said.

Yet an­other law­maker told Daily Trust that had the movers suc­ceeded in bring­ing the mo­tion be­fore the House, they would have “killed it.”

“The plan was that some­one from one of the South South states was to present the mo­tion. But I told them they would never suc­ceed. I waited for the day they would bring the mo­tion, but they didn’t up to the day we pro­ceeded on our an­nual re­cess.

“Their aim was for Buhari to be re­moved as pres­i­dent,” the law­maker said.

An­other law­maker also con­firmed there was such a move. He said: “Yes, there was that move, even though I don’t have the full de­tails, but I heard there was such move.

“In fact, I first heard it from some of my aides, but be­cause the is­sue wasn’t that pop­u­lar, it didn’t even come to the floor of the House. I think it was the lead­er­ship that stopped the movers from the very be­gin­ning.”

Mi­nor­ity Leader, Leo Ogor, could not be reached for re­ac­tion as his mo­bile phone was shut down at the time of fil­ing this re­port. A text mes­sage sent to him was not re­sponded to.

When con­tacted last night, House spokesman, Ab­dul­razak Nam­das (APC, Adamawa), said he was not aware of the mat­ter.

But a mem­ber from Katsina State, Ahmed Babba Kaita, con­firmed that there was such move but that it could not have suc­ceeded.

“Some of us were aware that some mem­bers wanted to bring a mo­tion on the pres­i­dent’s health. But no mo­tion any­one will bring on Buhari that will suc­ceed,” Kaita said. What the con­sti­tu­tion says Sec­tion 144 (1) of the 1999 Con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides that the pres­i­dent or vice-pres­i­dent shall cease to hold of­fice, if “(a) by a res­o­lu­tion passed by two-thirds ma­jor­ity of all the mem­bers of the Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil of the Fed­er­a­tion it is de­clared that the Pres­i­dent or Vice-Pres­i­dent is in­ca­pable of dis­charg­ing the func­tions of his of­fice; and (b) the dec­la­ra­tion is verified, af­ter such a med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion as may be nec­es­sary, by a med­i­cal panel es­tab­lished un­der sub­sec­tion (4) of this sec­tion in its re­port to the Pres­i­dent of the Se­nate and Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.”

Sec­tion 144 sub­sec­tion (2) states that “where the med­i­cal panel cer­ti­fies in the re­port that in its opin­ion the Pres­i­dent or Vice-Pres­i­dent is suf­fer­ing from such in­fir­mity of body or mind as ren­ders him per­ma­nently in­ca­pable of dis­charg­ing the func­tions of his of­fice, a no­tice thereof signed by the Pres­i­dent of the Se­nate and the Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives shall be pub­lished in the Of­fi­cial Gazette of the Gov­ern­ment of the Fed­er­a­tion.”

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