The National Democratic Front (NDF) has warned Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to stop playing politics with issues of national security and quit making utterances to derail President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
This caution trails Mr Gbajabiamila’s statement on Friday where he appeared to have berated the Service Chiefs for failing to honour invitation to the lower chamber.
In a statement signed by Secretary General, Dr. Abdukakadir Bolaji, the NDF said it is appalled by the “careless utterances of the Speaker” who also vowed to report the Foreign Affairs Minister to the President over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
According to the group, there is a grand plot to discredit the administration of President Buhari and Mr Gbajabiamila appears to be in forefront.
However, The National Democratic Front advised the Speaker not to return to the era where instead of parliamentary functions, the legislature issued summons to heads of critical agencies as bait for extortion.
The NDF, therefore, urged Mr Gbajabiamila to retrace his steps and not bow to any pressure to derail the country’s democracy.
Read full statement below:
We welcome you all to the Press Conference that has become inevitable due to the flamboyance and overreaching disposition of some elected political office holders in the country whose actions and inactions are buoyed by the need to make headlines in the national dailies at all cost, not minding the effect on the overall interest of the country.
As you all may be aware, the National Democratic Front (NDF) has been on the front burner on issues such as good governance and accountability on the part of political office holders in Nigeria.
Consequently, our attention has been drawn to statements credited to the Honourable Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila wherein he berated the refusal of the Service Chiefs to attend a meeting with him over killings in the country.
In another vein, Mr. Speaker also threatened to report the Foreign Affairs Minister to the President over the Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
The National Democratic Front is appalled by the careless utterances of the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, which by and large presents a despicable picture to members of the unsuspecting general public on how some political office holders though holding sensitive positions of authority, but not in tune with the realities on the ground in the country.
The statements by the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives gives a picture of one that is deluded by the paraphernalia of the Office of the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives to think that the Federal House of Representatives is a parallel government in Nigeria.
The carelessness, as well as the recklessness in the statements credited to the Speaker, is indicative of a grand plot by some unscrupulous elements within and outside government circles to discredit the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, as well as the securing the lives and properties of Nigerians in Nigeria and in the Diaspora.
This is given the undeniable fact that the security of lives and properties is the primary responsibility of government and the Muhammadu Buhari led administration has been tackling the various issues with all the seriousness that it deserves.
It is indeed ironic that the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives has chosen the dishonourable path of displaying arrogance and blind ambition to play to the gallery on issues of national interest to the detriment of over 180 million Nigerians.
The National Democratic Front (NDF) views with bewilderment that the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives either by omission or commission is not aware of the various efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in addressing the issues in South Africa.
In the same vein, Mr. Speaker must quickly come to the realization that the Service Chiefs were appointed by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and as such, they are not subject to his whims and caprices, and neither are the Service Chiefs at his beck and call.
The National Democratic Front is of the opinion that that Mr. Speaker should be aware of the electrifying schedule of the Service Chiefs and come to the realisation that they cannot abandon the business of National Security for summons and meetings at the slightest of calls.
Mr. Speaker must also realize that the business of national security is not rhetoric. It requires a high level of strategic thinking, which has been the case since 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed leadership of this country, and Mr. Speaker must not be seen as working against this intererst by virtue of the position he occupies.
The National Democratic Front is however convinced that the utterances by Mr. Speaker are not products of substance abuse or insanity as some would want us to believe or even the baggage of dishonesty being bandied around about his criminal conviction in the United States of America.
The National Democratic Front wishes to advise Mr. Speaker not to succumb to the pressure of returning to the era where members of parliament turned oversight functions and summon to heads of critical agencies as bait for extortion because that era is Gone with the Wind and any attempt to reintroduce it might come with its attendant consequences.
Whatever the case, The National Democratic Front candidly advises Mr. Speaker to retrace his steps and not bow to any pressure to derail our democracy for this is not the time to play to the gallery for the task at hand requires all hands to be on deck.