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Buhari began ‘soft restructuring’ with Executive Order 10, says VON DG

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Buhari

Urges implementation for stronger civil rule

Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, has said contrary to claims, President Muhammadu Buhari had begun ‘soft restructuring’ to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.

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He maintained that those, who believe that the President was opposed to the advocacy, were missing the point, noting that Buhari signed Executive Order No. 10 to bring Nigeria’s civil rule at par with the United States of America (USA).

The VON DG recalled that the Nigerian leader, at a point in the nation’s socio-economic history, once observed: “We had to struggle to pay debts, invest in road repairs and revamp the rail and try to get power.”

He said the President spoke like a statesman when he appealed to those criticising his administration to be fair-minded by “reflecting on where we were before we came, where we are now and what resources are available to us and what we have done with the limited resources.”

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Okechukwu stated: “For the avoidance of doubt, no critic remembered that President Buhari recently signed into law, Executive Order No 10 of 2020, cited as Financial Autonomy for State Legislature and Judiciary Order, 2020.

“If we had opposed the bi-partisan gang-up of the state governors, who opposed this democratic game-changer, they could have failed. This is the foundation for grassroots democracy and the cornerstone of free and fair elections. It’s as if we had shut our eyes and ears to whatever Buhari does whether good or better?”

He said the governors “in a rare show of unprecedented bi-partisan coalition stridently opposed Executive Order 10 meant to give life to Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”

The DG stressed the need for the implementation of the presidential order.

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Okechukwu, who was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Constitution Drafting Committee, wondered why those clamouring for restructuring were yet to agitate for the execution of the directive aimed at strengthening democratic rule in the country.

The VON boss noted that that the amendment was effected by the eighth National Assembly, regretting that the governors rushed to the Supreme Court, where they “hung the case in the maze of cases that may not be heard in the nearest future.”

His words: “Executive Order 10 simply delegated powers to the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from the allocations due to a state from the Federation Account, any sum appropriated for the legislature or judiciary of that state which the state fails to release to its legislature or judiciary as the case may be and to pay the funds directly to the state’s legislature or judiciary concerned.”

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