By: IYOKPO J. EGBODO, Abuja
Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives, has condemned moves by few members of the Benue State House of Assembly to impeach Governor of the state, Dr. Samuel Ortom.
Led by Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema at a media briefing on Monday, the caucus described the action as illegal, even as it threatened to boycott the planned reconvening of the House, thereby making the House lacking the quorum to take decision on INEC’s budget, unless the continuous attacks on PDP governors by the APC-led federal government is stopped.
The lawmaker said “we are constrained to draw the attention of all Nigerians and the global community, including the United Nations, to the increasingly autocratic, grossly anti-democratic and historically anti-people antics of the APC Federal Government as it embarks on a desperate march towards the 2019 general elections.
“Indications are emerging that this administration is walking in the same grim path of the forbidding regime of late General Sani Abacha and the outright dictatorship that overthrew the democratic Shehu Shagari administration.
“Just this morning (yesterday), while all people of goodwill across the entire nation are hoping to put the APC government’s merciless hunting of the Senate President behind them, armed policemen who had been drafted to Makurdi helped to put effect to the jackboot action against the government and people of Benue State.
“Everyone knows that Benue is a much troubled state, given the unhindered atrocities of emboldened hersdmen who have rampaged through several Benue communities, killing and maiming the old, the young and even toddlers and pregnant women.
“Yet for people nursing intense physical injuries and psychological wounds, the APC Federal Government has now added a blatant rape of their hope in democracy as eight APC members of the Benue State House of Assembly have today, served Governor Samuel Ortom an impeachment notice.
“This is a government that came into office with the slogan of progressivism and change! But in reaction to Governor Ortom’s defection from the ruling All Progressives’ Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), policemen took over the state House of Assembly complex and an impeached Speaker of the 30-member House who had been suspended for six months for “unparliamentary behaviour” presided I a mockery of the rule f law and democracy.
“Benue state’s 22 lawmakers, led by the newly-elected speaker, Titus Abua, were prevented from gaining access into the complex.
“The PDP House Caucus hereby condemns the ignoble action that is unfolding under the supervision of the APC Federal Government and the police in Benue state; the eight renegade fellows have no legal authority to serve any impeachment notice on the governor of Benue state.
“The PDP House Caucus condemn the absolute disregard for the Nigerian Constitution and the people of Benue state whose land some highly connected herdsmen and their instigators desperately hope to convert into a huge ranchland.
“We condemn the gross injustice in Benue state and we hereby affirm that constitutionally, at least twenty members of the House of Assembly must sit to form a quorum and thereby, in its entirety, the so-called impeachment process begun by eight renegades and their sponsors must duly be described by all Nigerians as an illegality, an exercise in futility which shall remain null and void”.