​Groups warn against granting emergency powers to Buhari


ONITSHA—AN Igbo socio-political group, Igboekulie and a civil society organisation based in Anambra State, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Intersociety, have described the reported plan by President Muhammadu Buhari, to seek legislative approval for a wide range of presidential powers to revive the Nigerian economy as unnecessary, saying that he has enough executive powers so far under the constitution to move the country’s economy forward if he so desired.

Intersociety in a statement, yesterday, by its Chairman, Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi, said: “Buhari’s administration has since September 2015 castrated the 1999 Constitution and illegally arrogated sweeping extra constitutional powers to itself in the governance of the country; upon which it now seeks for legislative legitimization through retroactive legislation or legislative cementation by way of executive sponsored bill.

“For the purpose of putting the records straight, we have critically and clinically studied all reasons and arguments made by the presidency upon which it is seeking for “emergency presidential powers,” whether for economic reasons or otherwise and have come to the empirical conclusion that the reasons and arguments are dictatorial, tyrannical, undemocratic and grossly unconstitutional. Whatever bedevils Nigeria governance wise under the Buhari administration, is self invited and does not require the so called ’emergency presidential powers’ as a solution.

“There are a lot of laws on public economic management in Nigeria begging for executive attention. Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution is enough to take care of emergencies in Nigeria. Any emergency power so granted Mr. President, be it for ’emergency economic intervention’ or under any other guise will expressly conflict with the 1999 Constitution, which amounts to anarchy and lawlessness.”

In its reaction, Igboekulie described the reported plan by President Muhammadu Buhari to seek legislative approval for a wide range of presidential powers to revive the Nigerian economy as unnecessary.

A statement yesterday by the President of the group, Prince Ben Onuora, Igboekulie applauded the success so far recorded in the determined fight against corruption and Boko Haram, saying, however, that government did not achieve that with emergency powers and as such does not need any to revamp the nation’s ailing economy.

The group said that what is needed is to change the way things are done, not necessarily our rules, adding that the President has shown requisite will and zeal in the fight against corruption and Boko Haram.

The statement read: “He needs to replicate this capacity for the economy without any special powers. His existing powers are enough to get the job done within the ambit of due process and efficiency. We cannot continue to invoke ad hoc solutions to perennial national challenges. That is why we have remained where we should not be as a nation, despite our individual talents and endowments.”

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  4. Source: Vanguard
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