Uproar over Buhari’s restructuring stance - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Uproar over Buhari’s restructuring stance

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By Our Correspondent

Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has deplored the “very uncouth and rude warning issued by Garba Shehu against patriotic organizations and responsible individuals like the respected Pastor Enoch Adebate Adeboye that this government should restructure the country to avert a break-up.”

The group, in a statement on Monday said Shehu sounded like “the spokesman of Pharaoh in ancient Egypt” for dismissing the recurring agitations as unpatriotic outbursts.

Shehu had said: “The Presidency responds to the recurring threats to the corporate existence of the country with factions giving specific timelines for the President to do one thing or another or else, in their language, ‘the nation will break up.’

“This is to warn that such unpatriotic outbursts are 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.

“Repeat: this administration will not take any decision against the interests of 200 million Nigerians, who are the President’s first responsibility under the constitution, out of fear or threats especially in this hour of health crisis.”

SMBLF however said: “We are perturbed that instead of giving assurances about rebuilding the country towards inclusivity, the regime is talking down on Nigeria in very intemperate language.

“We want to make it clear to the regime that it cannot cow us by using cantonment approach to national issues.

We will not accept turning us to second-class citizens on our land not even with threats of arrests or assassinations.

“Should we be clapping for the government and not talk when the Customs appoints 8 Deputy Comptrollers from a section of the country?

“Are we expected to be saying well done when DSS recruits 535 cadets from Northwest and North East and only 93 from the entire South and North Central?

“Are we to keep quiet when the law setting up PENCOM was clear on succession at director’s level, yet you go and bring somebody from North East to replace a South East eased out as DG?

“If Garba Shehu is not lexically challenged, he should know that those calling for restructuring are more patriotic than those running Nigeria towards implosion. “We will not succumb to their narrow idea of Nigeria.

Therefore, let us restructure now and withdraw from the path of implosion forewarned by patriots at home and abroad.”
Meanwhile, Buhari has appealed to Nigerians that are aggrieved with some laws of the land which they have certain misgivings about, to be patient and seek reforms in line with democratic practices.

The president made the appeal at a two-day joint executive-legislative retreat designed to promote harmonious working relationship between the two arms of government, held in Abuja on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new Company and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA) signed into law by President Buhari on Aug. 7, had been generating negative comments from various quarters including religious leaders.

The contentious part of the law in section 839 (1) and (2) which empowers the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to suspend trustees of an association (including places of worship) and appoint the interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons.

Many stakeholders, including church leaders, have expressed reservation over some sections of the new Company and Allied Matters Act 2020, and called for its urgent review.

However, Buhari had on Sept. 24, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, explained that the recently passed Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA), would entrench transparency and corporate accountability and enhance the fight against corruption.
The president, who reminded the citizens that the process of lawmaking and governance are dynamic, said his administration would continue to promote and ensure justice, peace and progress in the country.

“Let me also remind our fellow patriots, countrymen and women that the process of law making and governance are dynamic and ever evolving.

“I will seek their indulgence to be patient with any legislation or law which they have certain misgivings about and engage the process for reviewing such law in line with democratic practices.

“Our interest is the sincere promotion of our collective will and aspirations to build a nation where justice, peace and progress are the norms,’’he said.

On executive/legislative partnership, Buhari stressed the need for more effective collaboration between the two arms of government to share ideas and build consensus on critical governance and policy issues.

He noted that the retreat offered an opportunity for the two arms to reflect and engage as one government, for the benefit of all Nigerians.

“I believe that the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in our constitution is designed to enable all arms of government to work together in cooperative and collaborative manner, through executive and legislative engagements.”