Buhari finally speaks on Benue APC plot to impeach Ortom

President Muhammadu Buhari has dissociated himself from any role in the plot by minority lawmakers in Benue State to remove Governor Samuel Ortom.

According to a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, “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.”

Mr Buhari and his party, APC, have been criticised for the role of security agencies in allowing eight Benue APC lawmakers sit Monday at the assembly complex to issue the removal impeachment notice on Mr Ortom who recently left the party. The APC lawmakers accuse Mr Ortom of corruption, a charge the governor denies.

The majority members of the 30-member Benue State House of Assembly are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party Mr Ortom joined last week.

The action of the minority APC lawmakers and the role of the police and other security agencies in the crisis has been condemned by many Nigerians including Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

In his statement, Mr Adesina said President Buhari should not be dragged into the controversy.

Read Mr Adesina’s full statement below.

Even while attending the ECOWAS/ECCAS Summit in Togo, strident attempts were being made to drag President Muhammadu 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.


Atiku condemns Benue lawmakers’ plot to impeach Ortom


Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has decried the planned impeachment of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, describing the development as “awkward political development.”


Atiku said that any attempt to disregard the rule of law and the Constitution of Nigeria in the impeachment of a governor was a recipe for anarchy.

He urged the police to remain politically neutral and avoid aiding lawlessness, adding that partisanship could professionally destroy their image.

Also, the former National Caretaker Chairman of the PDP and presidential hopeful, Ahmed Makarfi said he was “appalled that despite numerous judicial pronouncements, more than two third of a 30-member House of Assembly in Benue State would be denied access to, and in fact chased away from the house by the police while giving state cover to seven or so other members to sit and even attempt to impeach a democratically elected governor.”

Makarfi in a statement by his spokesman, Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, said Governor Ortom was being haunted for the simple reason that some quarters had been slighted by the governor’s decision to move from APC to PDP.

The senator said Nigerians and the APC should not forget in a hurry,  that when  the PDP held sway,  it respected the rights of the people to freely decide what political platform(s) to identify with, “a stance that the APC more than any other party reaped bountifully from and the fruits of which included Governor Ortom himself, at that point.”

If we want Nigeria to succeed, we must break with the misguided notion that the Federal Government, or the President, knows best, and that no one else can be trusted. — There has not been a year in the last twenty years that I have not set up a new enterprise to employ Nigerians. The latest being that we brought the Chicken Cottage franchise to Nigeria which will be creating direct and indirect jobs all across the country. — I will make certain rivers are dredged to open up the hinterlands of the North. Licenses would be given to state governments to begin immediate exploitation of resources in their jurisdictions. — I will extend railways to connect workers to jobs, suppliers to buyers, students to universities, and parents to their children in every major city in every state. — Some Nigerian states are poor not because they are not receiving a fair share of oil money but because they are not receiving a fair shot at true federalism. Only restructuring can correct that. #GetNigeriaWorkingAgain #CHAfrica — To read my full speech at Chatham House earlier today, please see link in my bio.

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“It therefore smacks of hypocrisy and a brazen disrespect for fundamental human rights for the same party to now deny people the right defect from it for whatever reason(s),” the statement said.