In a bid to find lasting solution to the lingering crisis in the National Assembly affecting most especially the leadership of the two chambers: the senate and the House of Representatives, governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC have intervened into the issues.
Recall that an air of a frosty relationship had engulfed the presidency and Senate owing to the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and two others over alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Rules. Recall also that apart from the forgery case, Saraki is also facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, for alleged false declaration of assets.
Impeachment speculations against President Muhammadu Buhari by the National Assembly were rife penultimate week but had been denied by the national parliament.
Last week also saw the quartet of former President of the Senate, Mr. David Mark, his predecessor Mr. Ken Nnamani, ex- Speaker of the House of Representatives and present Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari and Zamfara Governor who is also chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, paying a dramatic visit to President Mohammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Besides the case of Saraki and Co, another matter involving Speaker Yakubo Dogara of the House of Representatives, his deputy, Yusuf Lasun and an aggrieved erstwhile chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumuni Jubril had brewed up last week. Dubious padding of the 2016 budget which had cost Jubril his precious position was very central to the face-off in the House.
Having already taken the fall, Jubril had sworn to take the speaker, other presiding and principal officers of the House to the cleaners and so, alleged in press conference that the Speaker had hand in an illicit “deal” of N40 billion Reacting to the litany of the revelations of alleged graft and corrupt practices by the lawmakers, former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday lambasted the National Assembly, reiterating his impression of the parliamentarians in 2012, that they were all “robbers and rogues”.
And Tuesday, the APC governors forums led by their chairman and governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha paid Buhari a visit at the villa.
The meeting which held behind closed doors started at about 2pm and ended after two hours. Filing out after the meeting at about 4 pm, Okorocha when asked by State House Correspondents said that they sought the permission of president Buhari to wade into the legislatures’ crisis, underscoring the need for the National Assembly to focus on their statutory mandate than embracing frivolities and trivialities.
He also said that the visit was to show solidarity to the president on the feats achieved so far in the anti-corruption and anti-terrorism wars He said: “We have come to reassure Mr. President that the APC governors are solidly behind him.
“We are concerned about the incessant happenings in the National Assembly and we have taken it upon ourselves to look into the matter, the crisis at the National Assembly.
“We are going to look into the matter because we need a strong, vibrant national assembly to make things move fast in the country.” Asked to comment on the state of economy in the states now, Okorocha said there was an improvement.
“There is a lot of improvement. You will recall that when oil was above $100, what the states are getting now is close to what they used to get when oil price was above $100.
This means this government is doing a lot. We are not yet there but we are getting there. We appeal to Nigerians to be patient with this government because it means well about the welfare of our people”, he said.
Also speaking on the criticism trailing the planned governors trip to Germany at a time of financial crunch as jamboree, the governor said that the need to cross-fertilize ideas was the propelling force for the journey, dismissing the jamboree insinuations.
“There is nothing like jamboree trip. We are going to Germany because we cannot do everything here without exchanging ideas. Everything you do in your home, your business, you share ideas.
So we want to see how they have done what they have done to succeed. Is the aspiration of Nigeria to be like other countries in the world”, he said. But Okorocha wouldn’t say the source of the funding as he fired back, “so who will fund it, you,” when grilled by Journalists about who would be responsible for the funding