Buhari and the calls to resign: Why not just impeach the President? – Seye Olaniyonu

Buhari and the calls to resign: Why not just impeach the President? – Seye Olaniyonu

Let the blunt truth be put out there, a President of Nigeria will never resign. Same applies to President Muhammadu Buhari. It is not possible, absolutely impossible. Even if he is on life support, just as we had it with late Umar Yar Adau; he will not.

Hence, the recent call by the Minority leader of the Senate, Abaribe Enyinnanya that President Muhammadu Buhari should resign; is not an actionable plan. It will serve the political rhetoric, which the opposition is expected to provide, However, it will not resolve the security crises.

Nevertheless, the Senate has given Mr. Buhari an easy option: sack the Service Chiefs. The blame for the continuous rise in insecurity has been placed firmly at the rightful place where it belongs; the feet of the service chiefs.

The overriding opinion is that these guys have overstayed their welcome. Therefore, the president should exercise his prerogative by firing them.

It seems simple and, in fact, it is simple.

Sack them, get more people who are hungry to get things done. The sacking of these men will be a lesson to those who will likely replace them. A good precedence for would-be successors.


Here is the real task before the minority leader and the entire opposition structure in the country. At federal and state level, a sustained pressure on the ruling party is needed. Indeed, the opposition party should show readiness to challenge the administration. The power to collaborate on security and also power to pressurize the government is essential.

Now is the time for the opposition party to set the platform for Abaribe to speak beyond the confines of the Red Chamber. He should be the poster boy of the renewed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Is impeachment of President Buhari a viable option?

Opposition politics is beyond sending out press statements. It is about building and sustaining momentum. God knows the country needs such a movement to light up the fire and keep the government on its toes.

ALSO READ: Buhari: Why incumbent President will not run for 3rd term – Seye Olaniyonu

The danger posed by the challenge thrown to Buhari is simple. In fact, the opposition must ask themselves the option available if the President fails to heed its warning.


This brings us to the most dangerous option: removing the President. Section 143 of the 1999 constitution, which deals with impeachment of the executive; is one of the most impractical aspects of the constitution.

According to section 143 of the 1999 constitution; a written notice of the impeachment allegations must be signed by 1/3 of the entire members of the National Assembly; (both Senate and House of Reps, which would be 157 members) and submitted to the President of the Senate.

The notice, according to section 143 (2a, b), must be detailed and specific, showing the violations.

Virile opposition essential to Nigeria’s democracy

The President of the Senate, upon receiving the notice of impeachment within seven days, sends a copy to the President.

The President has 14 days to reply. Nevertheless, whether the President replies or not, both chambers separately must through a motion vote commence proceedings with the investigation.


Equally important, the required vote is 2/3 of each member in both chambers. If the motion to investigate is passed within another seven days; the President of the Senate will inform the Chief Justice of the Federation to set up a panel. This panel will comprise seven persons, who are not members of any public service, legislative house or political party.

As a matter of fact, this is actually half of what is required to get impeachment underway.

The simple fact is; resignation or impeachment is not the option. The opposition in Nigeria needs to step up.

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