Your Autonomy Delayed By Constitutional Restraints – PMB Tells State Legislatures

In Breaking News, Politics

By Jonathan Ugbal

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja told state legislatures that the delay in their autonomy was constrained by the constitution of the country.

According to the a statement signed by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the president said the constitution upholds the standard for all public officers and institutional operations. He said it must be adhered to, or altered to reflect some dynamics and realities of the country.

“I try as much as I can to always be loyal and obedient to the constitution so long as it is humanly possible,’’ the statement quoted Mr. Buhari as saying when he received the Conference of Speakers at the Presidential Villa.

He charged the lawmakers to be people oriented in the discharge of their duties even as he pledged that his administration will keep pursuing the prosperity of all Nigerians by creating more jobs for the people, and plugging the weaknesses exploited by many to make quick money.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a photo session with the Conference of Speakers shortly after a meeting with them at the State House, Abuja with Cross River Deputy Speaker, Joseph Bassey in attendance. 21/11/2019. Credit: State House/Bayo Omoboriwo

“The 8th National Assembly sometimes kept the budget for seven months. And I had to call the Senate President and the Speaker then. I told them by delaying passage of the budget you are not hurting Buhari, but the people,’’ he added.

President Buhari said the delay persisted in spite of his efforts to seek more understanding.

The President said he will ensure equity and fairness that put the ordinary Nigerian on top priority, assuring that he will continue to focus on health, education, infrastructure and improving lives through social intervention programmes.

“We have in the last four years dedicated significant resources to key social services sectors especially in health, education as well as our massive social investment programs. We have also started restoring our infrastructure to levels that this country expects.

“I also want to assure you that we remain committed to ensuring that equity and fairness prevail in governance. I will ensure that we consult your conference to further enhance the positive impact of our interventions across the country,’’ President Buhari said.

The Deputy Speaker of the Cross River House of Assembly, Joseph Bassey (PDP Calabar South II) attended the meeting which was led by the Chairman, Musashiru Obasa who is also the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.


Posted by Femi Adesina on Thursday, November 21, 2019

Cross River Deputy Speaker, Joseph Bassey (in suit) at the Presidential Villa for a meeting of the Conference of Speakers with Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari. 21/11/2019. Credit: Facebook/George Odok Jnr

Obasa commended the efforts to ensure financial autonomy for the legislature and judiciary.

He said the legislatures would be further pleased if the President issues an executive order directing the Accountant General of the Federation to separate funds for the state legislature and judiciary at source.

He urged the President to consider supporting the devolution of powers to states on some issues on the exclusive list like railway and the police for more effective governance.

Also, the conference of speakers sought periodic engagements with the President as well as inclusion to his team while embarking on foreign trips.

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