Francis Fadahunsi, a senator from Osun East and vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise, has said that opposition parties in the National Assembly’s upper chamber have decided to remove Ahmad Lawan as president of the Senate if he attempts to obstruct the process of impeaching President Muhammadu Buhari next month.
In a conversation with media on Wednesday in Abuja, Fadahunsi said that the majority of senators from all political parties had already voted against Buhari due to his administration’s failure to handle the nation’s deteriorating security situation.
He expressed skepticism about the President’s capacity to address the nation’s security issues in six weeks, given that he was unable to do so for seven years.
He said, “We have been talking and giving suggestions on how we could end the insecurity challenges facing the country, but the Head (Senate President) is hooked to the Villa. He has been frustrating all our moves to take drastic measures against the President.
“We have now made up our mind to strike now that the iron is still hot instead of wasting our time, cooperating with the Ahmad Lawan leadership while the nation is being destroyed by terrorists with no plan by the government to stop them. We won’t wait until we are all killed.
“We have now decided to pull out of the ‘rubber stamp’ arrangement so that the whole of Nigeria would know that we have not been in support of the failing economy, the huge debts accumulation, falling naira, insecurity across the country and the unprecedented forms of corruption going on in the polity.
“Unfortunately, the man heading us now (Lawan) was leading the opposition lawmakers before and was challenging the rots in the system then. Now, he doesn’t want anyone to challenge Buhari’s government when things are falling apart every day. Any leader that opposes such a challenge in a democratic setting must also be challenged because we are elected by the people.
“Go and interview most of the senators. There is no effective oversight of the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government. Buhari will bring the budget and his people here will want us to pass it as he brings it. No examinations and heads of MDAs are doing what they like.”
The impeachment proceedings would begin as soon as his colleagues’ current six-week yearly vacation ended on September 20, according to Fadahunsi.
“Those who voted for Buhari in 2015 thought he could contain the insecurity, being a former military general. Unfortunately, things are getting worse under his watch and he appeared helpless. That is why we resolved that if we come back on September 20 and discover that the situation is still the same, with no appreciable steps taken, we would impeach him.
“We will first impeach anyone who says we will not impeach Buhari. If anybody tries to block us here, whether the Senate President or anyone in the Senate, we will remove the person. Mr President is finding it difficult to sack his non-performing security chiefs while those terrorising the nation are not being arrested. There was tension everywhere and something drastic had to be taken,” he added.
After Lawan stopped attempts to start an impeachment process against Buhari due to the nation’s security situation on Wednesday of last week, the senators from the Peoples Democratic Party left the red chamber during plenary.
Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, the president’s media advisers, both denounced the opposition senators’ move in response to the development.
Adesina had said, “I think it (impeachment) was just bravado, and sadly, security is not something you subject to bravado. You don’t begin to issue flippant ultimatums in something that is a matter of life and death.”
Also, Shehu said, “The performative and babyish antics of those senators staging a walk out notwithstanding, Senate President Ahmad Lawan’s refusal on Wednesday to entertain the ridiculous motion to impeach our President was quite appropriate and correct.”