By Ismail Auwal
The House of Representatives has denied a widely circulated report that it has tendered an apology for inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to address its plenary about the rising insecurity in the country.
Some media houses (not Sahelian Times) had reported that the House of Representatives has dropped its invitation bid and even apologized to the President for the embarrassment such invitation might have caused him.
However, reacting to the report in a statement titled “Clarification on Apology to the Presidency”, the House through its Chairman of the Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Kalu, disclaimed it, stressing that it would never apologize to anyone for doing its constitutional duties.
“It has come to the knowledge of the House that few sections of the media reported that the House apologized to the Presidency over the resolution of the House which arose from the motion sponsored by members from Borno State, requesting for the invitation of the President to brief the nation on the state of insecurity in the country,” said the House.
“The President or the Presidency as the case may be, never sought for an apology from the House of Representatives for carrying out her constitutional responsibility to the Nigerian electorate. Where then did the media get the report that the House as an institution apologized to anyone? Media professionals are advised to uphold the ethics of their profession,” the statement added.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the House never apologized to anyone for exercising her constitutional mandate and the 9th Assembly of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila will not do anything to desecrate or destroy the critical institution of democracy – the Legislature. We strongly believe that President Muhammadu Buhari subscribes to these democratic ethos and ideals as well”, the House asserted.
It will be recalled that the House members had resolved, on 1st December 2020, to invite the president to brief them on the escalating security situation in the country. December 10, 2020, was fixed for the president’s appearance in House. But barely 24 hours to the time, the President withdrew on his promise to appear before the legislature.
In a statement credited to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, the presidency proclaimed that the National Assembly lacks constitutional powers to summon the president on security matters.