On Monday, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, an elder statesman, said the President Muhammadu Buhari, lacks the constitutional powers to restructure Nigeria, Themoneymetrics reports.
He advised proponents of restructuring to channel their energies towards ensuring their representatives in the State and National Assemblies perform their statutory functions by providing the necessary legislative structure required to restructure the country.
Yakasai who spoke in a telephone interview with our correspondent in Abuja said, “The President does not have the powers to restructure Nigeria.
“He can initiate a bill just like every other Nigerian and send the same to the National Assembly for necessary action.
“I will urge proponents of restructuring to send proposals to the national assembly and put pressure on their representatives to do the needful.
“We need to follow the necessary procedure to achieve desired goals. We are currently running a constitutional democracy which requires dialogue and consultation.
“Whatever the issues are, we can approach our legislators and ensure that our voices are heard.”
The Second Republic Presidential Liaison Officer noted that Nigeria and Nigerians will be the better for it if issues were debated and agreements reached.
The General Overseer, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, and several other prominent Nigerians on Saturday called on the Federal Government led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to urgently restructure the country to save it from breakup.
In an apparent response, the Presidency in a statement signed by Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, said, “This is to warn that such unpatriotic outbursts are both unhelpful and unwarranted as this government will not succumb to threats and take any decision out of pressure at a time when the nation’s full attention is needed to deal with the security challenges facing it at a time of the Covid-19 health crisis.”
BREAKING: Buhari in crucial meeting with Obasanjo, other former heads of state
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a National Security Council meeting with some former heads of state and some security chiefs.
Although the agenda of the meeting is not made public, issues bothering on the current security situation in the country are believed to top the agenda. This follows the outbreak of violence across the country during the protest against police brutality and extra-judicial killings, which has led to the loss of lives and destruction of public assets and private properties.
According to media reports, the meeting which is coordinated from the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, has in virtual attendance General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.), former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), former President Goodluck Jonathan and former head of interim national government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.
Others who are physically present at the council chambers are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd.); Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olanisakin; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai, among others are attending with the President.
This meeting is coming a day after President Buhari’s national broadcast on the security situation in the country calling for an end to the #EndSARS protests as their voices have been loudly heard.
Senatorial, State House of Assembly bye-elections postponed – INEC
Senatorial and State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states have been postponed by INEC.
The 6 Senatorial and 9 State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states of the Federation has been postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The vacancies were as a result of death and resignation of previous members.
According to the statement issued by its National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye Esq., INEC said the decision was taken after meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday.
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) October 22, 2020
Though the commission did not categorically state the reason for the postponement, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the raging #EndSARS protests across the nation.
PDP Govs Declare New Police Act Unconstitutional
Kick against deductions for Police Trust Fund
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has called for a repeal of sections of the Police Act recently accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that they breached the Nigerian Constitition.
This was contained in a communique issued yesterday after a Zoom meeting held by the PDP governors.
The communique was signed by the Chairman of the forum, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who is also the governor of Sokoto State. The governors among other things, urged the president and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which “purportedly authorises the President to deduct 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.”
According to the governors, the said deduction is patently unconstitutional.
The communiqué read in part, “The meeting noted the signing of the New Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by Mr. President, Commander in Chief.
“While acknowledging the many important innovations in the new law, the Forum emphasised the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr. President as Chairman and 36 state Governors as members, fully operational and the clearing house on all issues bordering on the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
“The Forum further observed the discrepancies in S.12(2) and S.12(4) of the Act on the appropriate authority with responsibility to deploy Police Commissioners to the respective States. Whereas S.12(2) gives the responsibility to the Police Service Commission, S. 12(4) gives either the Police Service Commission or Inspector-General of Police the same responsibility.
“This is even more regrettable as the Constitution gives this responsibility to the Police Service Commission (S. 215) (1)(b). We advise that the constitutional provision be upheld.
“Furthermore, the Forum canvassed for appropriate consultations with the Governors of various States on the deployment of Police Commissioners to the States since the Police is a common institution that executes the laws of both the Federal and State governments.
“The Forum implored Mr. President and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which purports to authorise the President to deduct 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, as it is patently unconstitutional.
“The beneficiaries of the Federation Account are the Federal, States and Local Governments only. More creative funding options should be explored.”
The PDP governors also expressed concerns over the controversy surrounding the Water Resources Bill, 2020.
“Towards this end, the governors called for greater consultations just as they referred the document to the body of Attorney Generals of PDP controlled states to study and advise accordingly,” it added.
Governors who attended the zoom meeting include: Tambuwal (Sokoto), Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Mr. Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Senator Bala Muhammad (Bauchi); and Senator Douye Diri (Bayelsa).
Others are: Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Mr. Dave Umahi (Ebonyi); Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Mr. Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Mr. Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Mr. Bello Muhammad Matawalle (Zamfara).
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