The impeachment clause in the Constitution of the country was not inserted there with the intention that it be abused, President Goodluck Jonathan said in Abuja yesterday. He spoke at the State House when 27 state Houses of Assembly speakers paid him a visit to condole with him on the October 1 bomb blasts.
Only last week, the Northern Political Leaders Forum [NPLF] led by former Finance Minister Malam Adamu Ciroma called for Jonathan’s impeachment if he did not resign immediately. NPLF made the call following a claim by MEND leader Henry Okah that a presidential aide phoned him and asked that the Niger Delta militant group retract its owning up for the Abuja bomb blast so that Northerners opposed to the president’s 2011 ambition could be blamed instead.
Addressing the speakers yesterday, Jonathan said the frequent impeachment of speakers across the country shows that the country is not politically stable. He said until the impeachment mindset is reduced, the country might not be stable.
He said not too long ago, it was almost a weekly affair to hear that a speaker had been impeached, adding that the fact that impeachment clause is in the constitution does not mean it should be toyed with.
He said, “There was a time that it was almost like an epidemic. Every day, every week and every month you heard one or the other speaker being impeached.” He said until this story of impeachment is drastically reduced to the barest minimum, the nation would never stabilize politically.
He also said “the provision in the constitution that yes, he the president, the vice president, governor, deputy, the speaker and the deputy speaker could be impeached, is not to be abused.
“The idea of every day a speaker is being impeached shows that we are not stable politically. A nation that is stable politically need not carry out impeachment every day.”
He said it is only when there is stability in the polity that the country will realise its economic potentials and called on the lawmakers to support the Federal Government in that direction.
Earlier, leader of the group and the Chairman of Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly Istefanus Haruna Gbana said the group was at the Villa to condole with the President on the loss of lives in the Abuja explosion and to congratulate him on the successful golden jubilee anniversary.