Jonathan to senators: Focus on national issues not impeachment
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday told senators behind the Jonathan-Must-Go impeachment project that there were issues of national importance that needed their attention rather than the plot against him.
Jonathan’s advice was contained in a reaction by his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who fired back at the senators said to be compiling signatures and impeachable offences against the President.
“It is our view that there are at present, serious fundamental issues of national importance such as winning the war against terrorism and stabilising the economy in the face of dwindling oil revenue which require the full attention, commitment and swift action of distinguished members of the Senate,” Okupe said.
Arrowheads of the impeachment plot against Jonathan in the Senate on Tuesday told journalists in Abuja that 65 senators had already signed to remove the President and that they would formally present a request to commence the impeachment proceedings on December 16.
The senators said they would have tabled their request this week but for the adjournment in the Senate. The upper federal legislative chamber had suspended plenary till December 16 for members to participate in the ongoing primaries of the parties.
Okupe’s full statement read, “The Senate in the last four years has conducted its legislative functions and responded to issues that are of great national importance with commendable political sagacity.
“In this same period, the Senate has functioned as a stabilising force within the polity employing much political maturity that is required to guide and protect our nascent democracy.
“However, confrontation and strong disagreements are not uncommon phenomenon in Executive-Legislative relationship world-wide.
“The recent purported attempt by some senators to prepare impeachable offences against the President, as reported in some section of the media, is seen by us in this light.
“We strongly trust and believe in the leadership of the present Senate and the unwavering patriotism and commitment that have been shown by the distinguished members and we trust that ultimately it is this tendency towards true nationalism that will prevail in the Senate.
“It is our view that there are at present, serious fundamental issues of national importance such as winning the war against terrorism and stabilising the economy in the face of dwindling oil revenue which require the full attention, commitment and swift action of distinguished members of the Senate.
“We are of the opinion that all matters political can and will be resolved politically in the overall interest of our democracy and the wellbeing of our people.”
One of the arrowheads of the impeachment move in the Senate, Senator Alkali Jajere, had told journalists on Tuesday that there was no going back on the project.
He had said, “As of today, the required signatures to initiate the impeachment process had been obtained. The Senate has adjourned to December 16, so by that date the impeachment motion will be presented on the floor of the Senate.
“As of last week, 63 of us had signed up for the impeachment; my signature was the fourth but I can confirm to you that we have 63 signatures but after the session today two people had called and told me that they want to sign.
“One of them is an All Progressives Congress senator who was away doing campaign because he is contesting the governorship election of his state. The other person is a Peoples Democratic Party senator.
“Before the end of today I can assure you that the list will swell up to 70. It is on the impeachment day that we need two-thirds of the members to carry out the exercise but we need only one-third, which we already have, to initiate the process. It is just a matter of one day sitting. We will just push it before the two chambers.”
Jajere said he signed the impeachment motion because of his conviction that there were impeachable offences against Jonathan and that the process had been started early in the year but was truncated.