Director General of Voice of Nigeria, VON,
Mr Osita Okechukwu, has added his voice to those asking critics of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to be fair in their criticisms.
Reinforcing the appeal of the President that those criticising his government should be fair in terms of reflecting on where the country was before, where it is now, what resources are available and what has been done with the limited resources, Okechukwu regretted that
“no critics ever mentioned nor commended Mr President on the Executive Order 10, a milestone Order meant to give life to Section 121(3) and strengthen our democracy like that of United States of America, which we all celebrate”.
He said, “For the avoidance of doubt, no critic remembers that President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed into law, Executive Order No 10 of 2020, cited as the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary Order, 2020.”
The VON DG argued that if Nigerians had opposed the bi-partisan gang up of the State Governors who opposed the Executive order 10 by Buahri, it would have served as Democratic-Game-Changer and foundation for grassroots democracy and cornerstone of free and fair elections.
According to him, the 36 State Governors in a rare feat and unprecedented bi-partisan coalition stridently opposed Executive Order 10 meant to give life to Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution, an amendment effected under Buhari’s regime in the 8th National Assembly.
He said the Governors rushed to the Supreme Court and hung the case in the maze of cases that may not be heard in the nearest future.
Okechukwu going further said, “We must reclaim the Executive Order, for if pundits or true democratic patriots had paid attention, they could have supported the key provision of the Executive Order 10, which seeks to enforce financial autonomy of the legislature and judiciary of the states.
“Executive Order 10, simply delegated power to the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from the allocations due to a state from the Federation Account, any sums appropriated for the legislature or judiciary of that state which the state fails to release to its legislature or judiciary as the case may be and to pay the funds directly to the state’s legislature or judiciary concerned.”
“The law limits itself to only amount appropriated by the States, to safe the leadership of both the legislatures and judiciary from begging cap in hand.
“Where is the public interest when governors are behaving like Emperors? Can restructuring be effective when democracy is none existent at the grassroots? Okechukwu asked.
“If Nigeria’s State Legislatures remain Rubber Stamp and if State Judiciary are not independent, and local government councils administered in breach of Section 7 of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; how will restructuring work, how will the people’s votes count and how will a dictator like Donald J. Trump be stopped in Nigeria as was done in America?” Okechukwu queried.