South, Middle Belt leaders blast Nigerian government over disregard for National Assembly, insist on restructuring - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Thursday, 3 May 2018

South, Middle Belt leaders blast Nigerian government over disregard for National Assembly, insist on restructuring

South, Middle Belt leaders blast Nigerian government over disregard for National Assembly, insist on restructuring

Leaders of the South and Middle Belt, Thursday condemned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal executive for what they described as flagrant disregard for the legislative arm of government.

They stated this during a high level delegation of the group led by Chief Edwin Clark visited leadership of the Senate in Abuja.

Speaking on behalf of the body, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo said, “The recent invasion of the Senate by thugs that forcefully snatched the mace of the Red Chamber and the refusal of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to honour the summons of the Senate were clear examples of the Executive’s disregard for the institution of the National Assembly”.

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Nwodo added, “We have come to you at a very difficult time in the history of our country. We are visiting the National Assembly because of its unique position in our constitution. The democratic system we run in our country rests on the three organs of government.

“For these three arms, the other two function in accordance with laws made by this arm. This arm characterises democracy because in a military government you will have both the judiciary and the executive.

“But it is only in a democratic government that you have the parliament. The parliament is a microcosm of the people because every section of the country has by adult suffrage delegated its voice to this parliament.

South, Middle Belt leaders blast Nigerian government over disregard for National Assembly, insist on restructuring


“So, we believe that by visiting you today, we are coming to speak to the conscience of the country.

We ask that these discussions today be as frank as possible because in situations like this, unless the National Assembly rises like one man, with a conscience, commitment and patriotism, to unveil the facade of partisan politics, partisan advantages, and face the real issues we stand of the edge of a precipice.

“We have watched the helplessness of the National Assembly where members of the executive even refused your invitations to come and make explanations contrary to provisions of the constitution.

“We have found the helplessness of the Senate when you can be invaded in spite of the security adornment in this place controlled by the executive and the seat of the Senate President was almost invaded but for the personal security of the aides of its leadership.

“This is because our system makes the tail wag the dog rather than the dog wags the tail. This cannot be in a fountain of legislative authority for executive implementation, and yet they toy with the system.

“We have come to tell you that it is in our view that it is because we have this over-concentration of Powers in the Federal Government contrary to the agreement that our forefathers entered into for the nation called Nigeria. That governance has failed in our country. That economic development has failed,” he added.

He called for the revisit of the power development clause that was rejected in the ongoing constitution alteration process as promised by the National Assembly.

He said, “We believe that many of the problems that we have in our country emanate from the constitution of our country. We know that the National Assembly has had debates on devolution of powers and we know, Mr. President, that you did promise the nation that you will have a revisit to this issue.

“We have come to ask you to bring it up for a revisit. We consider it urgent and inevitable because we believe that all problems we have today in Nigeria emanate from the fact that our constitution is not right for a country constituted by people of diverse culture, diverse religion, diverse political persuasions as our country,” he said.

Other members of the delegation were: Chief Olu Falae, Air Vice Marshall, Irangate Idongesit, Obong Victor Attah, Sen. Stella Omu, Prof. Banjo Akintoye, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, Prof. Ihechukwuma Maduke, Sen. Basset Henshaw, Air Comm. Dan Suleiman (rtd), Mr. Alfred Mulade, His Highness Anaba Saraigbe and Lady Maryam Yunusa.

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