The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), and foundation members of All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. Osita Okechukwu has today accused Nigeria's main opposition, People Democratic Party (PDP) of planning to destroy Nigeria through unconstitutional means.
Okechukwu disclosed that no matter how imperfect our constitution may turn out to be, it has remained a sacred document that should guide us on national issues.
He warned the PDP that though there is obviously a security problem in Nigeria, that should not be used as a vehicle to ascend to power instead of looking how to fix them.
In his statement, “Am one of those who is worried about our sordid state of affairs, being one of those who advocate additional one state for the South East, to give us equal status and sense of belonging.
“I want 18 senators, more house members, and more local councils for my geopolitical zone like others. But rule of law must be adhered to no matter how slow,” Okechukwu quipped.
Mr. Okechukwu was reacting to the statement credited to the PDP of accusing President Buhari of failing to implement the administrative restructuring that he promised Nigerian during his campaign.
According to him, the move by President Buhari to sign executive order 10 was an effort to strengthen the financial autonomy of the state legislature which is part of the restructuring from the status co and a plus to the present practice.
He said, “Executive Order 10 is Buhari’s ‘Number 1’ restructuring. He has amended the constitution and had signed Executive Order 10 of 2020, in compliance with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with the intendment to strengthen the institutions of the State Governments,”
According to the VON boss, the opposition PDP are just trying to harvest the insecurity in the land to get to power by all means.
He said how can the PDP be talking about restructuring without even mentioning the 1999 constitution, the National and State Assemblies which is purely undemocratic.
Mr. Okechuchu while demanding explanation said, “We all agree on restructuring, and that there are certain items in the Exclusive Legislative list that need to be devolved to sub-national units. Secondly, we all agree that we are on constitutional democracy. If the rule of law is our mantra, then am at a loss which another route or channel PDP is proposing to restructuring without the Constitution, National and State Assemblies mandated by Section 9 of the constitution to do so? Or is PDP on deceptive power-grabbing binge by aligning with Pull-Down-the-Roof crowd?”
He applauded President Buhari for quickly understanding the style being adopted by state governors revolving into emperors which have stagnated the growth of democracy in Nigeria.
He said, “Secondly, he watched how less than transparent most governors are in the management of public finance, especially the bailout trillions he doled out to the governors. Accordingly, he came to the inevitable conclusion that before more powers and resources are devolved to them, let’s set the stage. Hence his 1st Restructuring is Executive Order 10.
“The truism is that amendment of any constitution is mostly incremental. The USA in over 200 years of liberal democracy has only 27 amendments. That’s the history of liberal democracy. It is amazing that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is still in self-denial of this elementary history. In this context, President Buhari has commenced restructuring with the amendment of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the course of his regime. The amendment is one of the milestones of the 8th National Assembly, in compliance with Section 121(3).
“As if Mr. President is aware that this important alteration of our constitution to make State Legislatures and State Judiciary more independent is either opposed or unnoticed he signed Executive Order 10, to give life oxygen to this all-important restructuring plan.”
Okechukwu taunted the PDP for saying that restructuring was just a mere campaign slogan for the Buhari administration which he said was unnecessary as Buhari's intention was to extend the dividend of democracy to all at the h grassroots.
He queried that, “In all honesty can we truly claim that we are in a democracy when there is no democracy at the grassroots? Are we actually in democracy with rubber stamp State legislatures, none independent State Judiciary, and local councils governed in breach of Section 7 of our constitution? Are our governors’ civilian governors or Emperors? Can we have effective and civil State Police under quasi-despots? These are the puzzles Buhari intends to unbundle and redress. Without which powers and resources devolved to the States will be like pouring water into the basket,”.
According to him, he was appealing to the main opposition to stop being too desperate in their quest to grab power, they should always remind themselves that there is a constitution, a document that governs the country.
He chided the PDP that if only they did not allow impunity into the system right at the time they were in charge, things wouldn’t have gotten worst to this state. Therefore, the Buhari government has already commenced restructuring; all we need is the partnership of the PDP and Nigerians who cajoled the governors to head to the Supreme Court to stymie No1 Amendment” he said.