by Adeniyi Abdul
The House of Reps wants everyone to know they will not be forced into doing what they do not want to, or rather, not doing what they want to.
In a statement released by the spokesman of the House, Zakari Mohammed, the House shot down claims that threats of impeachment of President Goodluck Jonathan were as a result of the influence of external “forces” or selfish motives of House members.
“Arising from Thursday, 19th July, 2012, plenary which discussed extensively on the snail speed implementation of the 2012 Appropriation Act by Mr. President and the attendant ultimatum issued that if by 30th September, 2012, when the House resumes from recess, there is no marked improvement, the House would be left with no choice than to initiative impeachment proceedings,” read the statement.
The statement said further:
“For the avoidance of doubt, whilst we are aware that all revenue-generating agencies have surpassed their annual target by mid this year, the House is worried that this positive development did not reflect on the implementation of the budget for the benefit of the Nigerian peoples.
“This trend, if not arrested, would worsen the already fragile state of the nation, hence the need for our quick intervention. To then insinuate that the House of Representatives took this noble step to satisfy pressure from a political party or because the constituency projects were not awarded to members or because of the drama that followed the presentation of the fuel subsidy report is, to say the least, malicious, damaging and uncharitable to the image of the Assembly.
“We in the legislature are lawmakers and not contractors and constituency projects’ execution has been the exclusive preserve of the executive and its agencies. At no time has there been any argument on this. Similarly what members do in the course of the budget preparation is to furnish the respective MDAs with locations and area of needs of our constituencies. The bidding processes are handled by the supervising ministries. All the 360 members in the House are bound by the Nigerian project; our independence and objectiveness is evident in the selection of our principal officers which we did according to our thoughts.
“To assume that we are guided by some forces outside the House of Representatives is mischievous and a deliberate ploy to misrepresent the House before the Nigerian public.”
The House also asserted that it would not be coerced into going against what members believe is in the best interest of the nation, saying:
“To now conclude that our resolution for Thursday was borne out of selfish motives is terribly out of place. We would however continue to raise our voices to the highest ebb. Where we sight injustice or impunity, no amount of blackmail or intimidation would cow us to abdicate our constitutional responsibility which we signed with our employers (the Nigerian people) to stand firm and protect their interest.”