More knocks have come the way of the eight of 30 members of the Benue State House of Assembly over their moves to impeach Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom as the presidency Tuesday distanced President Muhammadu Buhari from the Monday occurrence in Makurdi, the state capital, saying the president should not be associated with what it called an infamy.
“President Buhari will always stand by all that is noble and fair, and will reject attempts to drag him into infamy,” a statement by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said.
The veiled presidential upbraiding of what many legal luminaries have dismissed as unconstitutionality without moment, also got put down by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who Tuesday at a press conference in Abuja said the process utilised by the eight Benue lawmakers could not pass the test of smell of the constitution.
Meanwhile, the police, which told THISDAY on Monday that it was still studying the situation on the role of its personnel, Tuesday told the newspaper the outcome of its study and said its men intervened to prevent touts from hijacking the tense political situation in the state.
The court is also being called upon to put the touts at bay as it has been asked to rein in the impeached Speaker of the state assembly, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange, and his co-travellers, former Deputy Speaker, Hon. James Okefe, and former Majority Leader, Hon. Benjamin Adanyi.
The 22 members of the House who are loyal to Ortom Tuesday served them with notices to commit them for contempt of court.
In the statement released in Abuja, Adesina rejected any attempt to link Buhari with what he described as the inglorious past when lawmakers in their minority removed sitting governors in breach of the constitution.
According to him, attempts to drag the president, whom he said was attending a joint summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Economic Community of Central African States in Lome, Togo, into the charade in Benue, were unacceptable.
Adesina, who said the president would not interfere in the current shenanigans in Benue, argued that those making the insinuations were the same persons who had been advocating strict compliance with the principle of separation of powers, insisting that the president would rather uphold the provisions of the constitution than to allow himself to be dragged into the “infamy”.
Further arguing that the president would stand by what is noble, he insisted that his principal would be guided by the constitution as he deplored the actions of those he said had set up fire and then call on the president to put it off.
The statement read: “Even while attending the ECOWAS/ECCAS Summit in Togo, strident attempts were being made to drag President Buhari into the unfolding drama between the executive and the legislature in Benue State.
“Statements have been issued by different interest groups, insinuating that the president may have a hand in the development in Benue. This is paranoia at its worst, coming from people who have wittingly positioned themselves against the clean-up of the country, and the way we do things. They prefer business as usual.
“President Buhari will never be part of any unconstitutional act, and any attempt to link him with the inglorious past, when minority number of lawmakers impeached governors, will not stick. It will simply be like water off the duck’s back. Those with open minds know this, but those who cavil would rather source everything untoward to the president. It is murky ground in which they are now marooned, as fallout of their resistance to change in the country.
“When it suits them, they preach separation of powers and true federalism, and in another breath, they call on the president to interfere brazenly in affairs at state level.
President Buhari will always stand by all that is noble and fair, and will reject attempts to drag him into infamy.
“People who stoke fires by deliberate acts of omission or commission, and then summon the president to come and put it out will find that this president will be guided by the constitution at all times, no matter the attempt to entangle him in unwarranted controversies.”