A legal practitioner and public affairs commentator, Mr Chukwuma Ezeala today blamed the constitution for failing to out rightly state the time which a government official can stay away from official duty.
“The express letters of the constitution did not say how long, the express letters of the constitution could as well mean four years”. He said
Comparing the situation to the American system, Mr Ezeala said the American system permits the Deputy, Vice or Assistant of an office holder to transmit a letter transferring power to himself in the absence of the holder of that office so far his the consent of the majority of the executive council.
This, he said , in Nigeria will require the consent of two third majority.
However, if the holder of the office is in stable condition, the constitution also permits that he writes to the assembly notifying them of his condition to properly carry out the functions of the office.
Ezeala wondered why Nigeria, who claims to be copying its presidential system of government from America, copy’s the system in “such a way that is detrimental to our own system knowing the kind of people that we are, knowing the kind of people that have seized power for a long time”.
He proposed that officials occupying offices in acting capacity should liaise with the assembly to sack the executives, supposedly not loyal, and appoint new one to carry out the needed function of the offices in the interest of the people.
He cited the encumbrances that hampered the smooth operation of the government during the acting days of President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency as a clear example.
In his words “When President Jonathan was an acting president, sometimes we had some of these thing that he would ask a minister to do this and he would not do that. Some of the ministers were approving things without referring it to the executive council”.