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Lawmakers Right to Invite Buhari, Says House Spokesman

The Nigerian House of Representatives has said it was right to invite President Muhammadu Buhari and was not aimed at ridiculing him over security matters.

House spokesman, Benjamin Kalu told journalists that the president’s invitation was to ensure Mr. Buhari engages members of parliament on ways to address security challenges in the country.

Kalu however noted that the president could decide to follow the advice of his party on any issue since the country was operating a democracy hinged on party supremacy.

“The president is not more powerful than the party, but if he took a decision and his party took another, he must oblige the party,” he said.

Mr Buhari had confirmed to the Speaker of the House Femi Gbajabiamila that he’d honour the invitation and was slated to address a joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday.

The president will later decline to honour the invitation after he was advised by the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) National Executive Committee (NEC).

Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu had raised a motion prevailing on the President to decline the invitation and was seconded by Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello.

Akeredolu had said honouring the invitation could instigate state houses of assembly to begin to invite their governors to speak on sundry issues.

The country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami also argued that the National Assembly has no constitutional powers to summon the president to appear before it.

Senior lawyers in the country such as Femi Falana and Mike Ozekhome disagreed with Malami’s position saying the members of parliament have the powers to summon the president to appear before them.

By Abel Ejikeme

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