A former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Tony Anenih, has warned members of the party in the National Assembly not to contemplate the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also asked the Chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, to dissuade the PDP caucus in the National Assembly from participating in what he described as an “ill-advised adventure.”
He stated this in a four-page letter to Makarfi, which was dated July 15, 2016.
In the letter, which was made available to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Anenih said he was persuaded that the time was neither right nor the reasons compelling enough to contemplate the impeachment of the President.
He asked Makarfi to personally lead the process of consultation with the PDP members in the National Assembly, with a view to getting them to “play a patriotic, rather than partisan role, at this time of national economic and social uncertainty.”
The letter was titled ‘The PDP Caucus in the National Assembly and the threat to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari.’
It read in part, “I am concerned about the noise coming out of the National Assembly to the effect that some of our distinguished senators and honourable members are contemplating a move to impeach the President…
“I wish to appeal to you to use your noble offices as the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of our great party to dissuade our party members, in the National Assembly, from embarking on or participating in this ill-advised adventure.
“I am persuaded, sir, that the time is neither right nor the reasons compelling enough to contemplate the impeachment of the President.”
The former Minister of Works said while the National Assembly might have its grouse against the President, he, however, believed that the options of consultation, dialogue and negotiation had yet to be exhausted.
He said the national leadership of the party must assist in persuading its members in the National Assembly to persevere in the pursuit of these options.
“I do not believe an attempt at impeachment, at this time, is in the best interest of the party, or the country. Such a move will create tension, instability and even crisis in our body-polity. It will unleash all those fissiparous forces which, in the last few months, have begun to gain momentum,” he warned.
Fundamentally, he said the role of the PDP as the main opposition party, should be to concern itself with an inward review of why Nigerians lost faith in its members and in the party’s vision for the country.
Anenih added that the focus should therefore be on trying to figure out how the party could once again regain this trust.
He said, “As a party in opposition, what I expect is constructive criticism of the ruling party when it goes wrong.
“Playing an active role in the internal power struggles between factions of the ruling party is an unnecessary distraction and an exercise that appears to promote personal agenda rather than the national interest.
“I am not unaware that the times are hard; that Nigerians are groaning under the weight of unpaid salaries and astronomical increases in the cost of living, that ballooning security problems are increasingly threatening to rip apart the fabric of our national existence, and that Nigerians feel more divided today than they have ever felt, but it would be unfair to blame this President or this government for all of these problems.
“Instructively, none of these problems was floated as justification for the threat of impeachment by the National Assembly.
“On the economy, it is a well known fact that all oil-producing countries are suffering from an economic downturn because of the radical drop in the price of crude oil.”
Anenih added that as a mono-product economy, depending on crude oil, there was no magic bubble that could have insulated Nigeria completely from the systemic shocks caused by the attendant loss of revenue.
He stated that rather than seek scapegoats, the situation demanded that all our institutions, political parties and leaders should set aside all partisan interests and work together to wade through these difficult times.
“It is, therefore, my wish and prayer that you will, personally, lead the process of consultation with our members in the National Assembly, with a view to getting them to play a patriotic, rather than partisan role, at this time of national economic and social uncertainty,” he added.