The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has an interesting logic: President Muhammadu Buhari, the commander-in-chief, is not responsible for the insecurity and killings in the country – but his appointees are.
Addressing his colleagues at plenary on Tuesday, Dogara noted that the country was in a crisis and stated the obvious – that the “purpose of the government we serve in… is securing the welfare including the lives and property of our people.”
“This we must do by ensuring that every law abiding Nigerian is protected where ever he chooses to live in the country and everyone who is up in arms against our citizens is quickly brought to justice where ever they are in the country; that there are no sanctuaries anywhere in the country for killers and other hardened criminals who feed on the blood of our people,” he said.
Those were strong, important sentiments being expressed by the Speaker – but it fails when he begins to give Pres. Buhari a free pass.
“I therefore call on Mr. President to apply maximum sanctions on public officers who are derelict in the performance of their duties,” the Speaker said.
The problem however Mr. Speaker, is that the President is the Commander-in-Chief and the buck stops with him. You cannot on the one hand heap praises on the president as the Speaker did in his speech, and on the other hand blame so-called public officers who report to their commander-in-chief.
Buhari Has The Secret Plan
Dogara also mentioned that President Buhari has the solutions to the crisis, a secret plan that he could not possibly disclose. This is the same narrative that was peddled this week by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Elrufai and it ought not to be trusted one bit.
According to Dogara:
“Only 2 days ago, Mr. President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, briefed the President of the Senate and I on measures being taken to contain killer Herdsmen and other criminals who kill with impunity across National flash points.
“I won’t speak to the measures because of the sensitivity of security issues and in order not to jeopardise ongoing operations. However, I must say that I am totally satisfied that if Mr. President’s plan is carried out to the latter, we will sooner than later begin to see the desired fruits.”
Dogara contradicted himself, telling people not to do what he has been doing all along – passing the buck. The Speaker who spent the speech blaming public officers, apart from the president, ended it by saying his colleagues should not pass the buck but accept responsibility.
“At these moments of intense outpouring of grief across the nation, it is important that we shun buck-passing and accept responsibility for these wanton killings without which we will never find a solution to this evil,” he said.
So to be clear: Dogara believes that lawmakers in the House of Representatives should accept responsibility for the insecurity and that public officers should be blamed, but Pres. Buhari – the man whose main job is to ensure these acts of violence stop – should be absolved of blame. Interesting logic there, Mr. Speaker.
What the House Has Done
He said that in the past, the House has passed several resolutions on the issue of herdsmen, cattle grazing and rustling, kidnapping, terrorism and other sundry security issues. He said:
“These resolutions are more of a wakeup call to the Executive on its constitutional obligations in governance.”