Femi Adesina: Linking Buhari to Benue impeachment saga is paranoia at its worst

Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, says insinuations suggesting that President Muhammadu Buhari has a hand in the impeachment saga in Benue state is the height of paranoia.

On Monday, eight members of the state house of assembly served an impeachment notice on Samuel Ortom, governor of the state.

The impeachment plot, allegedly coordinated by Terkimbi Ikyange who was removed as speaker of the assembly last week, comes six days after Ortom dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

After the move to unseat Ortom was initiated, the PDP had accused the federal government of causing mayhem in a state recovering from killings.

Similarly, the Reformed-All Progressives Congress (R-APC) said the president’s silence on the matter suggests he is the “chief promoter of undemocratic illegalities that have consistently undermined our democratic engagements in the last three years”.

Reacting in a statement on Tuesday, Adesina said the allegations against Buhari are coming from “people who have wittingly positioned themselves against the clean-up of the country”.

He said Buhari will not interfere in the state’s affairs out of respect for the separation of powers.

According to Adesina, the president will not be part of an “unconstitutional act”.

The statement read: “Even while attending the ECOWAS/ECCAS Summit in Togo, strident attempts were being made to drag President Muhammadu Buhari into the unfolding drama between the executive and the legislature in Benue State.

“Statements have been issued by different interest groups, insinuating that the President may have a hand in the development in Benue. This is paranoia at its worst, coming from people who have wittingly positioned themselves against the clean-up of the country, and the way we do things. They prefer business as usual.

“President Buhari will never be part of any unconstitutional act, and any attempt to link him with the inglorious past, when minority number of lawmakers impeached governors, will not stick. It will simply be like water off the duck’s back. Those with open minds know this, but those who cavil would rather source everything untoward to the President. It is murky ground in which they are now marooned, as fallout of their resistance to change in the country.

“When it suits them, they preach separation of powers and true federalism, and in another breath, they call on the President to interfere brazenly in affairs at state level.

“President Buhari will always stand by all that is noble and fair, and will reject attempts to drag him into infamy. People who stoke fires by deliberate acts of omission or commission, and then summon the President to come and put it out will find that this President will be guided by the constitution at all times, no matter the attempt to entangle him in unwarranted controversies.”