Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to apologise to the National Assembly, for making what he described as a demeaning statement against the members of the legislative institution.
Melaye, who resumed plenary on Wednesday, after six weeks of being in Police custody, for alleged arms peddling and financing of armed banditry in Kogi State, made the call when he cited Order 14 of the Senate Standing Order to speak on how his personal privileges were breached by the alleged comments by President Buhari.
He said that the President made the comment, when President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, led by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) visited him recently at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Melaye, who was still limping with walking stick and hanging neck brace, said that the statement by Buhari was unparliamentary, undemocratic and U presidential, regretting that it came from the nation’s number one citizen, who should have properly weighed the implications of his words before uttering them.
According to the lawmaker, President Buhari had said that some members of the National Assembly had been serving for the past ten years but had nothing to show for it or to justify their membership of the apex Assembly for such long period of time.
He reminded the President that he (Melaye) had sponsored the Anti Jungle Justice Bill which Buhari had signed into law while noting that two other bills also sponsored by him were lying on the President’s table awaiting his assent.
The politician further recalled that all the anti-corruption agencies, which President Buhari is using in the fight against corruption were all products of the enactments of the National Assembly, wondering why the President should speak of the institution of the National Assembly in such false light.
“Mr. President, you will recall that last week during the solidarity visit of one of the campaign organisations of Mr. President led by the Comptroller -General of Customs, the President in his address said he does not know what we are doing in National Assembly even as some of us have spent over ten years in the parliament.
“Such derogatory, demeaning statements and insult should not be allowed to go unnoticed”.
The lawmaker said that the statement from the President had proven why the Comptroller-General of customs, Hameed Ali, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu and Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had been dishonouring Senate invitations with impunity.
He also faulted the frontline participation and position of Ali as campaign director of Buhari’s campaign organization against the backdrop that he is also the head of the paramilitary agency.
Melaye said, “this action was an aberration and unconstitutional for the customs comptroller- General to be appointed the Director-General of a campaign organisation”.
However, in his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola saraki, said, “conclusion on the President’s statement should not be rushed. We all have agreed to protect this institution but the political participation by the agencies must be called to order”.