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CHRICED Commends President Buhari Over Executive Order 10 Granting Financial Autonomy To State Legislature and Judiciary

The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) resoundingly commends President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Executive Order 10, which grants financial autonomy to the legislature and judiciary at the state level. This urgent Executive Order, if faithfully implemented, will contribute in no small terms to the deepening of democratic accountability in Nigeria. CHRICED finds it necessary to thumbs up the President because of his move to free two critical arms of government from the stranglehold of the state executives. One of the significant hurdles to democratic accountability and good governance has been the overwhelming and overbearing influence powerful state governors have been wielding over the legislative and judicial arms of government in their states. As would be seen in the COVID-19 response in many states, governors tended to act with impunity and disdain for crucial processes of democratic consultation.

There have been many other situations wherein governors acted like emperors, and with disdain for judicial and legislative processes. We have seen examples of governors sending in their annual budgets and then ordering the Speakers of the House of Assembly in their States to pass the budget without any form of consultations with citizens. In the same vein, there have been ridiculous instances in which governors decreed the budget placed before legislature must be passed within a few hours of it being laid before the house. Similarly, the dispensation of justice by the judicial arm of the state has equally been burdened over the years because the executive arm of government has been the source of funds for even the judiciary to run its system. In court cases where the executive or even the governor has an interest; therefore, the judiciary would not be free enough to exercise its powers reasonably, and in the interest of justice.

Therefore, Executive Order 10 signed by the President is not only an essential step to addressing the above anomalies, but it is also a necessary intervention which would cut some avenues where some governors corruptly siphon public funds. CHRICED believes this effort by the President, coming not long after granting financial autonomy to the Local Governments, would strengthen our nation’s democracy and provide the basis for the rule of law and accountable governance to take roots.

Over two decades since the advent of democracy in Nigeria, impunity, assault on the rule of law, unbridled corruption and the irresponsible use of political power has been the bane of the Nigerian political system. The absence of the critical checks and balances to keep political actors within the limits of their skills has made it impossible for the Nigerian political system to respond to the yearnings and aspirations of long-suffering citizens.

Hence it is not surprising to us that as the President is moving to address the anomalies in the interest of the nation’s democracy, the governors who have been benefiting endlessly from the sordid state of lack of checks on their powers are already voicing their protests. It is the same way the governors expressed opposition to the move to grant financial autonomy to Local Government Councils. To many of the governors, their understanding is that their states are private estates or fiefdoms, which should be ruled without checks from other arms and institutions. This attitude is the very reason why most states in the country have not made the required progress in terms of development and good governance.

It is therefore up to the legislature, the judiciary and citizens in the states to take the lifeline offered by the Executive Order 10 to free themselves from the vice-like grip of emperor-governors. We believe by signing this Order; the President has the interest of the nation and its people at heart. The onus is now on the people, and the relevant institutions to mount the pressure required to be free from the oppressive hold of state governors.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria


Comrade Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi

Executive Director

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