The National Assembly has said President Goodluck Jonathan must “comprehensively” address issues raised by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his letter to him (the President).The two chambers said this on Friday in their separate reactions to the controversial letter written by Obasanjo to Jonathan.But while there are indications that the House of Representatives would, this week, raise a motion on the letter, the Senate stated that it would wait for Jonathan’s response before taking any action.Obasanjo had in the 18-page letter accused Jonathan of condoning corruption and engaging in acts that were capable of destroying the country.The Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Friday in Abuja, said Jonathan should address the issues raised by Obasanjo in the letter in due time to avoid tension.He said, “The letter by Obasanjo touches on national security and all the issues raised therein cannot be ignored. President Jonathan has a duty of taking the issues raised in the letter, one after the other and explaining his side of the story to Nigerians”Enang was of the view that the legislature cannot take action on the letter until an appropriate response from the Presidency had been made.He said, “As it is, no legislative action can be taken unless the issue had been raised as a motion after appropriate responses had been made by the presidency in reaction to the allegation.”Also, the Minority Whip, who is also a prominent leader of the opposition in the Senate, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, admitted that the issues raised by Obasanjo were capable of heating up the polity and causing serious tension.He said, “All issues raised are very sensitive and germane. The Presidency cannot just dismiss the letter just like that. They should give full explanation. It is not a beer parlour talk.“Asking us to investigate it at the National Assembly level may not achieve the desired result. Any responsible government owes the citizenry the responsibility of letting the world know the true position of things.“The sensitive issues raised by Obasanjo are enough to make us to shiver as a nation.
A situation when a former President for eight years is saying the symbol of the ruling party has performed woefully called for a serious action.”On their part, members of the House of Representatives said it would serve Jonathan’s interest and the interest of the nation for him to respond “urgently” to the allegations of Obasanjo.The lawmakers said silence on the allegations would be “dangerous” and that delay could “give political forces the opportunity to heat up the polity.”Speaking on the issue, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, said the House was vindicated by Obasanjo’s letter.He said since June 2011, the House had always fought corruption, cautioned the executive, demanded details of budget implementation, but made little progress.Mohammed said, “These are very serious, dangerous allegations and we should not look at the messenger but the message.”On whether the House would conduct a probe specifically into the content of the letter, Mohammed stated that the House would continue to perform its duty of exposing corruption.“It is not just about the letter, but we will continue to conduct investigations; we have a job to do and we will continue to do it,” he added.Commenting in a similar vein, the Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, told SUNDAY PUNCH that “Jonathan must respond to the weighty allegations.”According to him, some of the allegations “are almost satanic” and did not fall in the category of issues the ruling PDP usually wished away as “PDP family affairs.”Gbajabiamila, who is the caucus leader of the All Progressives Congress at the House, noted that the allegations on security training and placing some people on security watch list were “grave and must not be wished away.”He stated that members were still studying the letter and would likely raise motions on the floor next week.“There are aspects of these allegations having to do with national security.“In the coming week, members may want to ask more questions on these security allegations, like placing people on a watch list,” he added.