The Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), Southeast Zone, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Executive Order 10 that has granted autonomy to the Legislature and Judiciary in the states.
The 0rder, signed by the President on May 20, 2020 expressly guaranteed financial autonomy of state legislature and judiciary.
The organisation, in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Chief Stanley Ohajuruka, and Secretary, Mr Godwin Onwusi, after its virtual meeting on Sunday, said that the Order had stopped governors “from acting as emperors”.
The statement said that the implementation of the Order would facilitate respect to the Doctrine of Separation of Power at the state level.
“The governors have always acted as emperors. That toga has always beclouded them from adherence to the fine tenets of separation of powers, making them detest financial autonomy for the other arms of government –
“To BSO, the Executive Order 10, 2020, has set the stage to repealing that emperorship status which most of the governors are wearing and which is unknown to our constitution.
“It is that arrogant status that has also beclouded them from optimal performance and adherence to the fine tenets of Separation of Powers.
“A cursory assessment of democracy at the state level will confirm that both arms are mere appendages and rubber stamp to the executive.
“This dampens development, creates insecurity, gross unemployment and dwarfs the local council. Is that what we want?
“The Order extends to the execution and maintenance of the constitution, laws made by the National Assembly (including, but not limited to, Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees financial autonomy of the state legislature and the state judiciary,” the BSO said.
The group dismissed the opposition of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to the Order, especially Section 7(b), which mandated the Accountant General of the Federation to take appropriate action to enforce compliance with the provisions of the order.
“If Section 121(3) of the constitution was implemented by our governors before now, there will not be any need for the President to sign the Executive Order 10.
“Lets be real. There is no democracy at the state level. That is why they answer Executive Governors, when there are no two governors in a state. This is why democracy is more or less in recession in Nigeria,’’ it said.
The group called for tight supervision to ensure the implementation of the Order and the right sanctions imposed on recalcitrant governors who failed to implement the provision of Section 121 (3) of the Constitution which they swore to uphold.
It rejected suggestions that the Order would infringe on true federalism.
“True federalism is better served and indeed actualised when you have independent legislature and judiciary at the state level.
“Have you asked yourself why the governors are more preoccupied with political domination of their citizens with security votes than socio-economic development?
“Is there freedom at the state level? Is there any law which prohibits a state from generating electricity? Is there any law which prevents a state from embarking on agrarian revolution?”.
The group maintained that the governors, as “emperors’’, were averse to alternative view points, opting to embrace, and listen to, praise singers instead of focusing on projects.
It urged the governors to comply fully with first-line charge for funding of state legislature and judiciary as it would, in the long run, result in a win-win situation for the collective good.