Nigerian leader faces impeachment threats amid insecurity

July 28, 2022 GMT

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Opposition lawmakers in Nigeria have threatened to impeach the country’s president Muhammadu Buhari over accusations he has failed to implement recommendations to end rising violence in the West African nation.

The lawmakers in the Nigerian House of Representatives said Thursday that they would join forces with their counterparts in the Senate who issued a six-month notice for Buhari’s impeachment on Wednesday just as the nation’s National Security Council announced plans for a new “strategy” to end the violence.

Impeachment of presidents in Nigeria is rare but such threats from lawmakers are not. Not much is expected of the latest impeachment threat which is coming just seven months to the end of Buhari’s second and final tenure as president. He has survived at least two past impeachment attempts since he became president in 2015 but none has seen the light of the day because they are usually partisan and initiated by the opposition.

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The Nigerian presidency dismissed the latest impeachment threat as “ridiculous” and said it would welcome the collaboration of federal lawmakers in solving Nigeria’s problems.

“No one is asking them to waste their time attempting to impeach a democratically elected President at the end of his second term – certainly not their constituents,” a presidential spokesman said in a statement.

As the opposition in Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber briefed reporters about plans to impeach Buhari, the president met with Nigeria’s security chiefs during which they considered a new security strategy, according to Babagana Monguno, the country’s National Security Adviser.

“I know people are weary, people are tired, people are beginning to gravitate to other places for self-help,” Monguno told reporters, promising that “there will be a change in momentum” in the fight against crime. He did not share further details, but urged the media to be careful in what it reports.

The top security aide declined to speak on violent attacks in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, a worrying sign.

“We are in a very difficult situation,” Monguno said. “Mr. President, understands people’s concerns about the growing insecurity but I can assure you that there is no straight cut and dried method of dealing with this thing unless all of us embrace each other.”