The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the house of representatives has threatened to block President Muhammadu Buhari’s supplementary budget over the impeachment move against Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state.
In the budget sent to the national assembly earlier in the month, Buhari asked the national assembly to appropriate N242 billion for the 2019 election.
Speaking at a press conference, Chukwuma Onyema, house deputy minority leader, said the PDP legislators would “block the request to consider the budget”, adding that it will be “tit for tat”
Wondering how eight lawmakers would reconvene the house that has 30 members, Onyema said the PDP caucus would not allow impunity to be the order of the day in Benue.
“Indications are emerging that this administration is walking in the same grim path of the forbidding regime of late General Sani Abacha and the outright dictatorship that overthrew the democratic Shehu Shagari administration,” the house deputy minority leader said.
“This is a government that came into office with the slogan of progressiveness and change. But in reaction to Governor Ortom’s defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), policemen took over the state house of assembly complex and an impeached speaker of the 30-member house who had been suspended for six months for unparliamentary behaviour presided over a mockery of the rule of law and democracy.
“We are constrained to draw the attention of all Nigerians and the global community, including the United Nations, to the increasingly autocratic, grossly anti-democratic and historically anti-people antics of the APC federal government as it embarks on a desperate march towards the 2019 general election.
“Twenty-two lawmakers, led by the newly-elected speaker, Titus Abua, were prevented from gaining access into the complex.
“Yet for people nursing intense physical injuries and psychological wounds, the APC federal government has now added a blatant rape of their hope in democracy as eight APC members of the Benue state house of assembly have today, served governor Samuel Ortom an impeachment notice.
“We condemn the gross injustice in Benue state and we hereby affirm that constitutionally, at least twenty members of the house of assembly must sit to form a quorum and thereby, in its entirety, the so-called impeachment process begun by eight renegades and their sponsors must duly be described by all Nigerians as an illegality, an exercise in futility which shall remain null and void.”
While expressing his displeasure at the alleged action of the federal government and the police, Onyema said the “seven renegade fellows” have no legal authority to serve an impeachment notice on the governor.