Buhari’s terrorism allegation: Ghana on red alert, says Rep

THE House of Representatives on Tuesday asked President Muhammdu Buhari to demonstrate sufficient political will by making public the identity of the National Assembly member alleged to be sponsoring terrorism. 

The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion of privilege sponsored by a member representing Ethiope East and West constituency in Delta Honourable Ben Igbakpa, who expressed grave concern over the weighty allegation against a serving member of the ninth Assembly by the president. Igbakpa disclosed that Nige- ria lawmakers are on watch list in Ghana as a result of the allegation President Muhammadu Buhari made that one of them is sponsoring terrorism in the country. 

Rising under 6 Rule 2 of the House Standing Order, Igbakpa observed that Section 17(a) of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, 2017, confers the constitutional responsibilities of lawmaking as enshrined in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on the House.

While narrating his ordeal at the Ghana airport, Honourable Igbakpa disclosed that “As reported by media house across the world, President Buhari in his Independence Day speech told the world that one of us is sponsoring terrorism. IPOB, by what it is to the face of the law today, is a terrorist organization even when we have our reservations, because the laws of the land and courts have spoken. 

“On Saturday, I had to honour an invitation to Ghana for a wedding. Mr Speaker, it will amaze you what I faced in the hands of Ghanaian officials. 

“They detained me for about four hours, that they were trying to confirm something. I stayed at the airport for four hours, missed the wedding I went for and at the end of the day, one of them walked up to me saying sorry sir there’s an announcement in Nigeria that a member of parliament is sponsoring terrorism and we are put on red alert to ensure that no member of parliament comes here to hide or cause trouble. 

“I had to come back home dejected. They have been calling me all over the world. My friends have been asking me, who among you is that person sponsoring terrorism? 

The lawmaker called for the House intervention, specifically expressed displeasure over the gravity of the allegation levelled against the legislative arm of government by the head of the executive arm of government. 

While noting that under the principle of separation of powers, no arm of government is superior to the other, Igbakpa underscored the need for the House leadership to meet with its Senate counterpart with a view to interface with the president to name the serving member of the National Assembly that is sponsoring terrorism as he claimed in paragraph 33 of his nationwide broadcast to Nigerians and the world on the occasion of the 61st Independence of Nigeria on October 1, 2021. 

The House also urged President Buhari to immediately “commence the prosecution of the individual, and if convicted should be completely shamed.

“Because of the fact that we’ve always cooperated and the fact that Nigeria has a lot to deal with, I’m appealing, if not the right thing to do is to invoke section 28 of the constitution they can tell us who among us is sponsoring terrorism. 

“All of us here are prime suspects. I appeal that the leadership of the House should liaise with their counterparts in the Senate to try and see the president so that he can tell us who is sponsoring terrorism amongst us. 

“The president should also go ahead and prosecute that person.” 

Worried by the development, some members who signified interest in contributing to the motion were not allowed to make input as it was brought under ‘Privilege’. 

In his response, the Speaker, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, who presided over the plenary, assured that the motion of privilege was “noted and we will get back to you on that.” Also, the House called on the National Security Adviser (NSA) and other security agencies to deploy all necessary machinery to Anambra State with a view to curbing the gruesome killing of notable Nigerians. 

The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance on the ‘Urgent need to curb the increasing spate of killings in Anambra’, sponsored by Honourable Chris Azugbogu “The House notes with grave concerns the security breaches that are taking place within Anambra State, that used to be a very peaceful state, but which has been turned into, a centre of attacks by unknown gunmen. 

“The House further notes that these killings are orchestrated by mischief makers who are bent on causing tension and panic in the state ahead of the upcoming November 6 election in Anam- bra State. 

“The House is further aware that on September 3, my vehicle was attacked along Nnewi Nnobi road leading to the death of one of my drivers. The offices of the Department of State Security were also burnt down on October 3. People were also killed, houses burnt. 

“The House observes that there’s need to work with the security agencies with a view to containing these acts toward making the state safe for law-abiding citizens to go about their lawful businesses. 

“The House is concerned that unless drastic measures are taken to halt and combat those elements terrorizing the state, the events in Anambra will turn into a major crisis in the entire South-East and the nation,” he noted. To this end, the House mandated its joint Committee on National Security and Intelligence and Police Affairs to ensure that normalcy is restored within the state and report to the House within three weeks.

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