The head of the Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) and former Federal Information Commissioner, Chief Edwin Clark, has criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for his rejection of the state police, saying the reason given is not was not tenable.
In a statement made available to the media on Monday, senior nationalist Ijaw observed that while the president is right about potential abuses of the security apparatus by state governments, the federal government is also guilty of persecuting opponents. policies with the federal police.
He said: “Mr. President has rejected the call for state police in the country. He said state policing was not an option, that governors would abuse it. He gave an unrelated example of the relationship between state governors and local governments that there is no functioning local government in the country.
“Although the president is correct that no local government in this country really functions as the Constitution says, not even the common account under which state governments receive money on behalf of local governments, because the accounts are fully controlled by state governors, it is not enough to reject the demand for state police.
Citing articles from the Nigerian Constitution of 1999. Section 214 (1) dealing with the establishment of the Nigerian police force and its use, Clark argued that the provision does not describe the principles of a system. federal government, but a unitary form of government, “Therefore, the 1999 Constitution is rejected by Nigerians who believe in a federal system of government. Likewise, section 215 (4) does not really contain the ingredients of a federal system of government.
He reiterated that the state police are a popular agitation of Nigerians and were vigorously discussed and endorsed at the 2014 National Conference.
Clark added: “It is very unfortunate that the state governors elected under the party are the ones leading the party today. But it is unconstitutional and authoritative for the president to say that the state police, which was even recommended by the El-Rufai committee as one of its elements by virtue of the devolution of power to be transferred from the executive list in Annex 1 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, in Annex II of the concurrent list, should be rejected.
“I completely agree with Mr. President that most state governors have undermined the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, where local government is provided for in Article 8. that the holding of free elections , fair and democratic in accordance with article 7 (1) of the Constitution which stipulates:
“The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is guaranteed by this Constitution; and accordingly, the government of each State shall, subject to Article 8 of this Constitution, ensure the existence by virtue of a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finances and functions of these tips.
“I also agree with Mr. President that the state police could be used by state governors to persecute suspected political opponents, but it is also true that the federal government also uses the Nigerian police force to persecute suspected political opponents, undermining NASS and obstructing free speech. But doesn’t that mean that the whole idea of state police should be ruled out? This will mean throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Speaking on the restructuring of the country, the oldest statesman noted that exercise is a necessity for the survival of the country.
He explained, “In addition, restructuring Nigeria is essential if Nigeria is to survive as a country. It is very cruel and disappointing to hear the President say that “he does not know what kind of restructuring the Nigerians want.
“This is very insincere and dishonest because President Muhammadu Buhari has been preaching restructuring since his 2011 campaign, when he challenged our respected Pastor Tunde Bakare, as running mate, and when our late golden boy, Comrade Yinka Odumakin was his spokesperson, and one who preached restructuring until his death, and for which he became one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s biggest critics due to his (Buhari’s) failure to accept the restructuring of the Nigeria.
He added: “The restructuring of Nigeria was one of the main topics of Mr. President’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) memorandum in 2015. But he dodged the topic when the brilliant and intelligent staff at Channels Television asked him about restructuring, saying it was a combination of political parties including the CCP, ANPP, APGA and CAN that had won the election.
“Is Mr. President saying that the CPA manifesto has not publicized the issue of restructuring Nigeria?” I repeat once again that when the drums of restructuring resounded in all parts of this country and the sages danced to the beat, APC was forced to establish the Mallam Nasir El-Rufai Committee, to produce a report on the restructuring. The committee consisted of 27 members, including active and former governors, senators, active and former ministers, etc.
Clark claimed that the report of the APC committee headed by the governor of Kaduna state revealed the president’s lack of sincerity who said “he does not know what kind of restructuring Nigerians want.”
The statesman added: “In any democracy, the president or the head of state is responsible to the people and not the other way around. The President’s unholy alliance with the National Assembly (NASS) is like throwing a dagger at democracy. A situation where NASS behaves as if it is an appendix of the executive is very undemocratic.
“Truth and not lies are essential to running a democratic government. The recommendation of the state committee report of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, which had already been accepted by the party’s national executive committee (NEC), APC, under the leadership of the national president and former governor of the state of Kaduna. ‘Edo Leader John Odigie Oyegun binds every party member no matter what position they hold until they are overthrown at the party convention.
“There is a need for proper guidance, survival and unity of the country. There is an urgent need to restructure this country and have a new Constitution, produced by the Nigerian people, as was the case in 1963 when Nigerians negotiated a Republican Constitution. Failure to do so will lead to the disintegration of this country, due to the severe insecurity across the country, ”Clark said.
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