Sequel to the rising insecurity in the country and the insistence of President Muhammadu Buhari to retain the Service Chiefs despite nationwide public outcry against such, the Senate has said it will keep persuading the president to do the popular wish of the people.
Recall that the red chamber had, on July 21, asked the service chiefs to step aside, following the killing of soldiers fighting insurgency and banditry in some parts of northern Nigeria.
The decision came after a motion moved during plenary via a point of order by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume.
Ndume’s motion titled ‘Matter of urgent national importance’ was premised on the rising number of casualties among the armed forces and other security agencies due to escalating banditry and insurgency in the country. He described the situation as worrisome.
However, the Presidency disagreed with the Senate’s position saying the President was not legally bound to act on the resolution of the legislature, while stressing that the President reserved the power to sack or retain the service chiefs.
In a recent interview, the Senate spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said the red chamber would continue to persuade the President to act on its resolution.
Basiru admitted that the resolution was purely advisory but maintained that it represented the position of Nigerians who elected them into the Senate.
He said, “We, however, still want to persuade the President to consider our resolution. The Presidency has said it is aware of our resolution and has pledged to look into it.
“The Presidency said it is not legally bound to carry out (our) resolution because it is the prerogative of the President to remove service chiefs.”
Basiru did not categorically confirm if the Senate resolution was appropriately passed to the Presidency, but said, “Our resolutions are just persuasive authority coming from elective representatives of Nigerians in the National Assembly.”
He said, “It (resolution) is not a law. It is advisory and persuasive. The response of the Presidency is the correct position of law and I agree.
“Due to the principle of separation of power, we cannot compel the President to sack the service chiefs. We only responded to the feelings of Nigerians by asking the President to reorganise them (service chiefs) but he is not legally bound to do so.”