Restructuring Not An Attack On Nigeria’s Unity – Bakare

Bakare was a running mate to President Buhari in the 2011 Presidential election.

 

Pastor Tunde Bakare on Sunday backed calls for the restructuring of the country, insisting that such a move should not be seen as a threat to the unity of the nation.

“We have failed to realise that a strong federal government working with strong federating units can guarantee the security and prosperity of the Nigerian people,” the clergyman said in his State of the Nation address.

“We have failed to appreciate the fact that coordinated governance by the different states in each of the geopolitical zones will enhance the security of Nigerians and bring our people out of poverty.

“This is the heart and soul of restructuring. Restructuring does not mean
the dismemberment of the Nigerian state. It is not an attack on Nigerian
unity. It does not mean disadvantaging any section of the country.”

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While the senior pastor of Citadel Global Community Church in Lagos linked the rising level of insecurity in several parts of Nigeria to failure to restructure the country, he noted that non-state actors have taken advantage of the situation and hijacked the political governance of the regions.

“The greatest demand on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is to facilitate the emergence of legitimate regional governance frameworks that can fill the vacuum and flush out the illegitimate structures,” the former running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari added.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari tries to wear a facemask at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 25, 2021.

 

Bakare who said he is forced to speak out owing to what he described as Buhari’s legacy being confined to the unsavoury side of history, lamented that the state of Nigeria’s does not reflect the President Buhari that he knows.

“I am compelled to speak out because the state of the nation does not represent the Buhari I knew when we took that solemn journey towards rebuilding Nigeria,” he added.

“I am compelled to speak out at this point because, given the state of the nation, the legacy of President Muhammadu Buhari is in grave danger of being confined to an unsavoury side of history. I am indeed compelled to speak out because Nigeria is in a state of emergency.”

Tunde Bakare Calls For Restructuring Of Nigeria

Tunde Bakare, NigeriaThe Senior Pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, has joined the call for the restructuring of Nigeria’s federalism.

He made the call during a church service, in which he delivered a ‘state of the nation’ address.

The former vice-presidential candidate said that it has become important, more than ever, to create a system whereby states of the federation can be independent.

Bakare began by reviewing his 2016 forecast, which he reminded the church, came to pass, before making his 2017 forecast, anticipating a better year.

“Years from now, generations yet unborn will point to this year as a turning point for the Nigerian nation,” he said.

He then spoke on the need to reduce the 36 states of the federation, into the 6 geo-political zones; a move he believes would make the states healthier and more financially robust.

“These 36 states overwhelmingly sustained by allocations from Abuja cannot guarantee functional infrastructure such as world class roads, railways, airports, housing and urban development,” he said.

In further justifying his recommendations, he said: “We must restructure to correct the flaws in our federal system. A federated state is defined as a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federal union.

“In a true federal system, previously sovereign states agree to confer their individual sovereignties on a central government.

“In other words, the states create the federal government, as was the case with the original 13 American colonies. In Nigeria, the federal government creates the states.”

Support For President

Pastor Bakare also said that the President is on course with his anti-corruption fight although he also admitted that there is need for things to be done faster.

“We have seen some progress in the anti-corruption war with the relevant agencies recently extending the fight to elements within the judiciary suspected to have been major impediments to the successful prosecution of the war”.

He disagreed with those who see President Muhamadu Buhari’s administration as clueless and called for more support for the President’s administration, as he believes in his capacity to do things in the interest of the country.

Furthermore, the pastor stated that he wants to see an immediate action on the part of the President, especially in reviewing appointments at the federal level.

State of the Nation Address Seeks To Wither President’s Power

A legal practitioner; Wahab Shittu, has blamed the drafter of the State of the Nation address bill for some contravention of the bill against the constitution.

Speaking on Channels Television breakfast show Sunrise Daily, the lecturer of law with the Department of Law, University of Lagos, explained that the use of words such as ‘shall’ and ‘summon’ in some of the Act’s stipulation is geared at withering the President’s power of discretion in addressing the National Assembly as stipulated in Constitution.

He urged Nigerians not to see the lingering crisis between the Presidency and National Assembly over State of the Nation Act as a conflict, noting that the major problem with the State of the Nation bill is the way the law was drafted, as some of the bill’s stipulation is in contravention of the Constitution.

He also welcomed amendments demanded by President Goodluck Jonathan which amongst other things, seek to allow him send a representative to deliver the address if he is not disposed.

The lawyer also advised the lawmakers to probably amend the section of the Constitution which gives the President the power of discretion on the State of the Union Address before coming up with the new law which will ‘mandate’ the President on the address.

Mr Shittu said the legislative drafter who is charged with the responsibility of drafting a law must ensure that the law that he purposes to draft must not contravene in the constitutional law of the country, stating that “law must not contravene constitutional provisions.”

The lawyer added that the legislative drafter must ensure that the law which he intends to draft does not run fowl of the fundamental rights provisions of the law.

PART 2

Lawyer Says State of The Nation Address Fracas Is An Ego Issue

A legal practitioner, Moyosore Onigbanjo, has said the on-going row between President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly over the State of the Nation address is an issue of ego.

With President Jonathan’s refusal to sign the passed State of the nation bill into law, Mr Onigbanjo noted that the lawmakers would also consider it demeaning if the address is to given by a representative instead of the President.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Onigbanjo, stated that Clauses 1, 2, 3, 5 of the bill which Mr. President objected to, is a device by the National Assembly to compel the President into performing the duty asked of him.

Although Section 67 of the Nigerian constitution gives the President powers of discretion in addressing the a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, Mr Onigbanjo says, the lawmakers are trying to use the bill to change it into a mandatory function.

He said President Jonathan has taken “sound legal advice” by objecting to the clauses in question. However, the constitution guarantees the right of the citizens to demand accountability.

Nothing can override the President’s discretionary powers as outlined in the Nigerian constitution, he said, except an amendment is made to Section 67 of the Nigerian constitution.

Ne noted that “the position of the law is that when there is conflict between any law and the provisions of the Constitution, the provisions of the Constitution prevail.”

The lawyer warned that despite the National Assembly’s threat to override the President’s position, “the President would still not be compelled to attend” according to the law.

The United States of America, South Africa and Ghana are countries where the President is required to deliver an annual State of the nation or union address.

“It is a way of rendering account to the people” Onigbanjo said.