Reports reaching 247ureports indicates that President Jonathan is now facing the battle of his life as tries to quell the impeachment battle that is seriously coming against him. Soon after the threat of impeachment last week before their recess, it was gathered that President Jonathan swung into action in order to broker a peace with the enraged House of Representatives members, as he invited the Speaker of the House Aminu Tambuwal for a talk.
However, aside the meeting with Jonathan, the President of the Senate David Mark has also waded into the crisis, as it was gathered that Senator Mark and other Principal Officers have intervened in the unfolding scenario, but it seems all pleas have fallen on deaf ears, as the House has decided to commence impeachment process against the President this September in the event the President continues to go wrong in the implementation of the 2012 budget.
Sources within the Presidency said there were also indications that Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal has been under severe pressure from some political bigwigs concerning the House of Representatives resolution as it was also gathered that yesterday Senator Mark also visited the Presidential Villa with Speaker Tambuwal.
According to sources Senator Mark was said to be in solidarity with the House resolution as he highlighted the importance of the House member’s resolution.
“The Senate President noted that the executive had in the past complained that the National Assembly unduly increased the budget proposals presented by the executive but he told them that this time that the senate and the House passed the budget virtually as presented by the executive and that there was as such no reason not to implement the budget.
“The Senate President further noted the fact that all revenue generating agencies had virtually attained their targets for the year and that yet implementation was still standing at 30%,” a source revealed.
Meanwhile, another source also alleged that in their bid to also make sure that the executive listen to their warning, it was gathered that some House Members have began to articulate an article of impeachment if Mr. President fail to ensure implementation of the budget.
“We have formed a group to monitor the issue and prepare an article of impeachment should the President fail to comply. Our goal is to have an article of impeachment ready once the House resumes in September. For now nothing is happening. We are only watching and the ball is in their court,” the member said, yesterday, on the condition of anonymity. It was the House that agreed on the resolution and for a change to be effected it has to be done by the whole House. We carry out oversight functions; we know the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government far better than the Executive arm, a House member laments.
Source said the senators have joined forces with the Representatives because both chambers (Senate and House) must work together on impeachment in line with constitutional provisions. According to Section 143 (1): The President or Vice-President may be removed from office in accordance with the provision of this section. (2): Whenever a notice of any allegation in writing signed by not less one-third of the members of the National Assembly: (a) is presented to the President of the Senate; (b) stating that the holder of the office of President or Vice-President is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, detailed particulars of which shall be specified.
“Some of us have met with some members of the House of Representatives to tell them that we are in support of their action. The battle is not that of the House alone, it is for the National Assembly. Let Mr. President take his time to gauge the feeling of all senators, he will know that they are not happy with his administration on the poor implementation of the budget.”
“As a chamber, the Senate has passed many resolutions too which the president has not implemented. We considered the reports on Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) and pension fraud but the government just kept quiet as if we are in the Senate as spectators. I can tell you that there are sufficient grounds to initiate impeachment process against the President,’’ said a Senator.
While another senator said: “The Presidency will be making a great mistake to bank on the Senate for reprieve if the House is adamant to actualise its impeachment threat. On security ground alone, the impeachment proceedings will succeed. We are all tired of the high-level of insecurity in the country. So, it is in the interest of the executive to implement the budget as directed by the House instead of glossing over last Thursday’s resolution of the House.”
Yet another senator said: “We will use this recess to consolidate our plans on what to do if the President does not address the budget implementation target.
“We all felt insulted that the president also recalled the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, in spite of issues surrounding her tenure. “Nigerians should appreciate that even if the Senate maintains a parallel position, senators and representatives will eventually hold a joint session where votes will count equally. With the numerical strength of the House, any motion can sail through at the joint sitting.”
According a Principal Officer of the House; “the overwhelming support for the ultimatum given to the President should be a signal that there is a communication gap between the executive and the House. Not even members of the House from the South-South could rally round the executive. That has confirmed that we all saw the Nigerian Project beyond ethnicity. It also showed the waning influence of the President in the National Assembly.
“As a matter of fact, the motion on the budget was drafted by a member of the House from the South-South. The member was determined to move the motion openly but for tactical reasons, the House leadership decided otherwise. The country is not moving forward, we are unhappy.
“We have opened up talks with some senators on the way forward. I think constitutionally, we can find a solution to the challenges at hand in the country. We have our game plan, some senators and House members are also meeting in the United Kingdom and United States during the vacation on this game plan.”
Meanwhile a member of the House who spoke to 247ureports on condition of anonymity said that a lot of issues are against the President which indicates that they House are fighting back against the President.
“The issue of Otteh who was recalled by the President is an insult to the House and entire Nigeria as we are not happy with that development, look at the way the President is handling the Farouk and Otedola issue and even going as far as setting up his own probe committee after the House has done a good job in their own probe and instead of prosecuting those indicted, he went on to set up his own probe committee again. Moreover we are not happy with the issue of security which President has not shown any act of seriousness.”