PRESIDENT BUHARI’S 61st Independent Day Anniversary national address, left quite much to be chewed, on some major national issues he raised. Of profound concern to many is the allegation that “investigations being conducted” revealed that a serving member of Nigeria’s National Assembly is among those identified as sponsors of separatist movements in the country.
Buhari said: “The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals. We are vigorously pursuing these financiers including one identified as a serving member of the national assembly”.
He further added that: “We shall continue to work on dialogue-based solutions to address legitimate grievances. But we remain ready to take decisive actions against secessionist agitators and their sponsors who threaten our national security”.
Nigeria’s House of Representatives at plenary, yesterday, raised the issue. A member of the House, Ben Roland Igbakpa, through a motion, urged Buhari to the expose the serving National Assembly member he alleged was among the sponsors of secessionist movements in the country, and prosecute any person found answerable.
Lawmakers said it was wrong for the president to make such blanket accusation against the legislative arm of government without substantiating it. The House resolved to ask Buhari to name the alleged sponsor; if he fails to disclose the name, it might invoke Section 28 of the Constitution, compelling the President to so.
BEN ROLAND IGBAKPA, who moved the motion under Matters of Privilege, stated: “All of us here are prime suspects. I appeal that the leadership of the House liaise with their counterparts in the Senate to try and see the President so that he can tell us who is sponsoring terrorism among us”.
Thereafter, he related what he described as the “nasty experience”, he claimed was meted on him by Ghanaian authorities at the weekend, during a visit to the country.
“They detained me for about four hours, saying they were trying to confirm something. I missed the wedding I went for. And at the end of the day, one of them walked up to me saying, sorry, sir. there’s an announcement in Nigeria that a member of parliament is sponsoring terrorism and we were put on red alert to ensure that no member of parliament comes here to hide or cause trouble.
“I had to come back home dejected. They have been calling me all over the world; my friends have been telling me; who among you is the person sponsoring terrorism? The right thing for a father to do is to name and shame any child that’s bringing about division. But Mr. President didn’t shame that person or name them”, Igbakpa related.
A unanimous resolution was reach by the House, directing the leadership of the House to meet their counterparts in the Upper Chamber, the Senate, and fix an appointment with Buhari to name the lawmakers he mentioned in his national address.
Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House, pledged compliance with the resolution and report back to House.