Hours after the House of Representatives resolved to summon President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings in Benue State, the Presidency said he would react appropriately when officially summoned.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said this on Wednesday in a Skype interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
Members of the House of Representatives had decided to summon the President in reaction to the continued killings in Benue, particularly Tuesday’s attack on a Catholic church and the murder of worshippers and two priests.
Several of the lawmakers argued that with the killings continuing months after the deployment of security personnel and the launch of a military exercise, it had become necessary for the President to fire the service chiefs and appear before the House of Representatives to explain what he was doing to end the violence.
Asked if the President would appear before the lawmakers, Mr Adesina said the House had not communicated the summon to President Buhari.
He said, “It is a development that just happened and almost throughout the day we have been in the Federal Executive Council meeting. That meeting did not rise until after 5:00 p.m.
“So, it was after 5:00 p.m. when I got back to my office that I saw that news scrolling on the television. That means that the President himself hadn’t heard of it at that time. So, when the lawmakers – the Houses of Representatives – communicate their decision to the President, it would be handled appropriately.”
Although Mr Adesina acknowledged “the right” of the lawmakers to summon “anybody to appear” before them, he did not say whether the President would honour their summon if it is communicated to him.
“It is democracy in action. The House has the right to ask anybody to appear and the President is holding the position as a trust for Nigerians. It is the mandate of Nigerians that he is holding. But when they communicate that decision to him, he will respond accordingly. I can’t be talking of what he will do until that decision is communicated to him,” he said.