Melaye asks PMB to withdraw uncomplimentary remarks about lawmakers

*Melaye, Buhari

Senator Dino Melaye, who resumed legislative duties yesterday (Wednesday) after six weeks has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the recent derogatory remark he made about the national assembly legislators.

The president had said when he received a delegation of Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) at the Presidential Villa on May 22 that some lawmakers had spent 10 years in the national assembly without doing anything.

He said: “Let anybody come and confront me publicly in the national assembly. What have they been doing? Some of them have been there for 10 years. What have they been doing?”

Melaye who described the president’s comment as “unpresidential”and “unconstitutional” said: “As a senator who came to the national assembly in 2007, about eleven years ago, I am particularly unhappy that my privilege is abused by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

“Last week, the president in the Presidential Villa while addressing the delegation of the Buhari Campaign Organisation and this was televised in Channels Television and AIT and I have a copy to tender.

“The president in his address said he doesn’t know what we are doing in the National Assembly. He said that some of us have been in the national assembly for over 10 years and we have nothing to show for it. This statement is not only un-presidential, but it’s an assault on my person and the institution of the national assembly where I am proudly a member. Such derogatory statement and insult on the national assembly should not be allowed to go unnoticed.

“For the president to so speak in low tones about the national assembly, I begin to ask myself if Donald Trump will address the Senate of United States in like manner,” he said.

Melaye said the president had set a bad president stressing that such utterance is the reason some government appointees disrespect the national assembly.

“One then begins not to wonder why we will summon the IG and he refused to come. We are not then surprised why Directors-General and heads of agencies will refuse to honour the summons of the Senate. Because the body language and the statement of the president is already demeaning the integrity of the national assembly.

“The occasion where the president made this statement was the delegation (of) the Buhari Campaign Organisation led by the comptroller-general of customs. Comptroller-General of Customs is a rank and customs is a para-military organisation and if the Comptroller-General of Customs will be leading Buhari Campaign Organisation; that is an aberration and his oath of office.

“So that this will not continue, so that very soon we will not see the IG attending the APC convention on June 23rd. so that we will not see the Chief of Army Staff shouting APC in some of the campaigns. We must as a Senate take a strong decision today to protect our institution.

“The statement of Mr. President and the reason for allowing all these people to make all these kind of political affiliation despite their offices is reducing these institutions. And our responsibility we have at this Senate is to preserve these institutions.

“I want to call on Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, for using this un-parliamentary, un-presidential and unconstitutional statement on the national assembly, apologise. I call on him to apologise for using this language and that is where most of the appointees draw their inspiration from. That is why they disregard this National Assembly,” he said.

The lawmaker said he had a disk containing all what Buhari said on the occasion, called on the Senate to ask for an apology from the president.

In his comment, the senate President Bukola Saraki, while asking Melaye to lay the disk before the Senate, emphasised that President Buhari may have been quoted out of context “and as such “we should not rush to any conclusion on the issue.”

Melaye who was sat on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) axis of the senate chamber limped to the front and laid the disk before his colleagues.




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