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Presidency keeps mum over report of Buhari’s boycott of Thursday meeting with lawmakers

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THE presidency has kept mum over a report that President Muhammadu Buhari has decided to boycott his scheduled meeting with the House of Representatives tomorrow, Thursday.

The ICIR contacted Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President and his counterpart, Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, none of them responded to the message sent to them. They also didn’t answer calls.

The House of Representatives had on Dec 1 summoned the president to appear before it over the recent killing of 43 farmers in Zabarmari community in Borno State.

The ICIR had also reported how Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representative disclosed that the president had already agreed to address the House regarding the state of insecurity in the country.

But according to media reports, the president may no longer appear at the meeting already scheduled for Thursday.

The report notes that the president after meeting with APC governors and lawmakers on Tuesday decided to stay away.

The meeting led by Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi State who doubles as the Chairman, Progressive Governors Forum, had in attendance  Ahmad Lawan, Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as APC governors and the party’s caucus at the National Assembly.

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Governors accuse lawmakers of trying to harass Buhari

Sources at the meeting revealed how the governors accused the lawmakers of attempting to embarrass the president with the invitation, adding that they already have an intelligence report that the lawmakers of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may subject the president to ridicule.

Bello Masari, The Governor of Katsina State, who spoke on behalf of the governors said such invitation would not only affect the Buhari-led-administration but also the ruling party.

Masari, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, said such an invitation would hugely expose the president to the opposition’s attack.

The governors, therefore, appealed to the lawmakers to cancel the meeting.

While Femi Gbajabiamila was said to be quiet during the meeting, Ahmed Lawan,  the Senate President supported the idea.

Meanwhile, the minister of justice and attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN  has said that the National Assembly has no Constitutional Power to envisage or contemplate a situation where the President would be summoned by the National Assembly on the operational use of the Armed Forces.

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The minister made this  statement on Wednesday.

According to the nation’s chief law officer, 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.

 

 

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'Niyi worked with The ICIR as an Investigative Reporter and Fact-checker from 2020 till September 2022. You can shoot him an email via niyioyedeji1@gmail.com. You can as well follow him on Twitter via @niyi_oyedeji.

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