IMPEACHABLE WRONGDOINGS members of Lagos Sate House of Assembly planned to use against Governor Akinwunmi Ambode would have been what? Monday, January 31, 2018, Nigeria’s Lagos State House of Assembly, threatened to begin impeachment process to remove Governor Akinwumi Ambode from office, for what they described as “gross misconducts”.
Ambode’s impeachment threat is coming about one month to Nigeria’s 2019 Governorship election, which Ambode is not in the contest. What is the purpose of the impeachment? Ambode was given the option to resign as Governor of the State. At the expiration of one-week ultimatum given to him to formally present the 2019 budget before the lawmakers, they would commence impeachment process against him.
There has been disagreement between the executive and lawmakers over the presentation of 2019 budget. Governor Ambode sent 2019 budget to the House in December 2018, but the House insisted the governor must lay the budget properly before the House, otherwise, the House would not commence work on the budget.
Bola Tinubu, kingmaker in Lagos State and national leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Sunday, said the threat by Lagos House of Assembly to impeach Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has been put to rest. This was after peace meeting between Ambode and the lawmakers mediated by the state APC leadership at Lagos House, Marina.
Tinubu said it was gratifying that the conflict between the Governor and members of the State Assembly was resolved amicably. He said the executive and the legislature have resolved to works together. His words: “We held a meeting on behalf of Lagos, the entire Lagosians, our party – APC leadership. In the last one week, there has been noise about the conflict between the executive and the State Assembly”.
“It is of great concern to all of us and particularly what Lagos represents across the country. We have been able to look into the source of various conflicts which is not uncommon in politics; what is the genesis of those problems? We are one big family and as a big family, you will have some rumbles”, the Lagos State Kingmaker said.
“You will have some disagreement. As leaders of the party, we have looked into that; we have looked into areas where we have to compromise, discuss and build the institutions, encourage the institutions to really do what is right. We have resolved there is no question of impeachment in Lagos State. Let the two arms of government communicate and continue to respect one another and build consensus and understanding.
“That is all about politics. Conflict and conflict resolution mechanism is inbuilt in any political system unless leaders are lacking in their responsibilities,” Tinubu said.
At plenary, Monday, January 31, some members of the House of Assembly, took turns to condemn Governor Ambode. They alleged the executive had commenced spending from 2019 budget without approval by the Assembly. Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, on his part, urged the lawmakers to give Governor Ambode fair hearing on the issue.
Obasa claimed there has been violation of the constitution and infractions on the part of the governor over the 2019 budget. He said: “The Attorney General, Finance Commissioner and Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, that ought to have advised the governor did not do so. The most important thing is that we should let the people know that a budget that was yet to be approved is being spent”.
And added: “We must give the executive a fair hearing to come and explain what happened. The point has been made that there must be something before the House before you can commence expenditure. We want to call on the Governor to come within a week to explain himself along with the relevant commissioners. We can’t start gathering signatures for impeachment. We need to exercise patience and wait till another time”.
Tinubu thanked the Governor Ambode, his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule and the House leadership for peaceful resolution of the conflict. According to Tinubu, the consequences of the conflict festering would have been dire not just for the state, but the entire country. What a gamble the exercise would have been!