By Babajide Okeowo
Due to the assumed ethnic and political dimension that the invitation of President Muhammadu Buhari by the House of Representatives on the security challenge in the country has assumed, the lower chamber has dropped its intention.
It was also gathered that some of the lawmakers behind the motion to invite Buhari had apologised to the Presidency.
A principal officer of the Reps disclosed that “The House of Representatives has foreclosed or dropped any immediate or future plans to invite President Muhammadu Buhari over insecurity in the country because a harmless motion has become political.
I can tell you that we will no longer revisit the invitation. But we will be interacting with Service Chiefs and other ministers in charge of the nation’s security.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its lawmakers capitalised on the motion to cast aspersions on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. What we never intended became the issue.
Some governors and strategists in government insinuated that the House leadership was working for a different political interest. That was why they pulled the strings from the Senate.
At a point, the row over the invitation was turned into a North-South divide if not for the political dexterity of the House leadership.
We also got intelligence that some of those lawmakers who sponsored the motion because of Zabamari rice farmers went through the back door to the Presidency to apologise over their insistence that the President must appear before the National Assembly” the source said.
Recall that some members of the House of Representatives had sponsored a motion to seek the urgent intervention of the Presidency following the recent killing of about 43 farmers in Zabamari, Borno State.
Those who demanded action were Hon. Ahmed Satomi, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Hon. Zainab Gimba, Hon. Muktar Betara, Hon. Mallam Bukar Gana, Hon. Haruna Mshelia, Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha, Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed Bukar, Hon. Usman Zannah and Hon. Abdulkadir Rahis.
But Ahmadu Usman Jaha said the prayer to invite the President was omitted from the motion read on their behalf by Ahmed Satomi.
The motion to invite Buhari was later adopted by the House, leading to a follow-up audience with the President by its leadership.
Although the President initially agreed to appear before the National Assembly, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), said the House lacked the power to summon the President.
The Senate leadership also sharply disagreed with the House and rejected moves to ask the President to address a joint session of the National Assembly.
Despite the legal opinion of the AGF and the political stand of the Senate, the Presidency has not been forthcoming on what becomes of the invitation of the President.