By Seun Adeuyi
The House of Representatives has dismissed reports making the rounds that it had apologised to President Muhammadu Buhari for inviting him earlier in the month to brief it on the escalating insecurity situation in the country.
Recall that the House had on December 1st, through a motion sponsored by members from Borno State on the heels of the massacre of over 43 rice farmers in Zarbamari village, passed a resolution summoning the President for security briefing.
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House, later conveyed the resolution to the president, who assured his commitment to honour the invite.
But barely 24 hours to the meeting, Buhari renounced on his promise to appear before the legislature. The twist was linked an advise from Abubakar Malami, the minister of justice and Attorney-General of the federation, who stated that the national assembly lacked the constitutional powers to summon the president on security matters.
Before the House formally adjourned last week for the Christmas holidays, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, its Spokesman, at a press conference stated that the House was still awaiting official communication from the Presidency explaining why the President failed to honour the invitation.
But a report emerged on in some sections of the media on Sunday (TheBreakingTimes not inclusive) that the House had dropped the invitation and subsequently apologized to Buhari.
Reacting to the report, Hon. Kalu disclaimed it, saying it never apologized to anyone for doing its constitutional duties.
In a statement titled “Clarification on Apology to the Presidency” and dated December 28, 2020, the Spokesman said that the House did not apologize to the president for the summon since it falls within its constitutional responsibility.
The statement reads:
“It has come to the knowledge of the House that few section of the media reported that the house apologized to the Presidency over the resolution of the House which arose from the motion sponsored by members from Borno State, requesting for the invitation of the President to brief the nation on the state of insecurity in the nation.
“The President or the Presidency as the case may be, never sought for an apology from the House of Representatives from carrying out her constitutional responsibility to the Nigerian electorate. Where then did the media get the report that the House as an institution apologized to anyone? Media professionals are advised to uphold the ethics of their procession.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the House never apologized to anyone for exercising her constitutional mandate and the 9th Assembly of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila will not do anything to desecrate or destroy the official institution of democracy – the Legislature.
“We strongly believe that President Muhammadu Buhari subscribes to these democratic ethics and ideals as well.”