President Muhammadu Buhari has wished the decampees in National Assembly, “the best in their future undertakings.”
He also expressed his total commitment to the values of democracy, freedom of choice as well as total willingness to work with the lawmakers, irrespective of their political party, for the benefit of the nation.
This is even as he has assured members of the ruling party of his total support and urged them not to despair, but to see the defections as a seasonal occurrence which happens on election eve.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement said, Buhari, while reacting to the development, noted that none of the defecting federal lawmakers from the All Progressives Congress (APC) had any specific grievances against him or the government he leads; neither did he harbour anything against any of them.
“As the saying goes, all politics is local. We understand that some of the distinguished and honourable lawmakers have issues with their home states, especially on zoning, which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies,” he said.
Noting that the APC had done its utmost to stop the defections, Buhari commended the leadership of the party for relentlessly working for its unity and ensuring success in the upcoming elections.
The president expressed confidence that no harm or injury will be done to the APC and its aspirations by the movements.
Meanwhile, the Presidency said it has noted the orchestrated campaign against President Buhari each time a Very Important Person (VIP) is invited by the law enforcement agencies, in the discharge of their legitimate duties and functions.
In a separate statement, Shehu said the law of the land is intended for all, not for the poor or those at the lowest rungs of the social ladder.
“It is odd, strange and bizarre that while ordinary citizens can be called up to answer questions or be interrogated, the VIP cannot be questioned without the annoying insinuations of partisanship, persecution or outright politicisation.
“This country cannot achieve development in peace when important cases are viewed through a political prism and the law considered as being applicable to some, and not applicable to others.
“The workings of law enforcement agencies are set out in the Constitution and the laws of the country. If they worked at the discretion of past presidents, who decided who to question and who to detain, Nigerians should get used to the fact that this president is different. President Buhari does not and will not influence or interfere with cases.
“The constitution clearly directs law enforcement agencies to promptly report and investigate any actual or potential infringement of the law, and, also, initiate proceedings against all those involved.
“This president is not the one who directs them on what to do. President Buhari does not stand in the way of law enforcement either. Under our constitution, he has no powers to stop the investigation of anyone or institution. When they are set to investigate anything and anyone, the best friend of the law is the one who lets them do their work.
“The president’s constant refrain is that he will not tolerate any form of illegality, including corruption, and the law enforcement agencies have been given complete freedom to identify and bring all culprits to justice. His instructions to them are very clear: Anyone with a case to answer or found guilty should not be spared.
“Accused persons should approach the courts to plead their innocence, rather than going to the public to plead persecution.
“The country is better served when the law enforcement agencies are allowed to do their work and we must stop the actors of this dangerous game of politicising law enforcement,” the statement read.
Regardless, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, met behind closed doors with the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting came a few hours after news broke that security operatives laid a siege to the residences of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
Idris did not speak with State House Correspondents after his meeting with Buhari.
The Presidency has yet to issue a statement on the meeting at the time of filing this report. The police high command had, on Monday, invited Saraki, again, for questioning, over the recent Offa robbery.
The police had asked Saraki to report yesterday,at 8:00a.m., but he had not complied with the directive as of the time the police boss was meeting Buhari.
His failure to honour the invitation forced the police to issue a statement threatening to use all legal means to get him.