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Executive Order as threat to democracy

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EXECUTIVE ORDER: A THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY

By Josephine Olanrewaju Toyosi

 

The Nigerian president’s intention to fight pervasive corruption in the country has taken another turn with the new law that was established, the executive order No 6 which has to do with the preservation of assets connected with serious corruption and other relevant offences and restrains owners of assets under investigation from carrying out any further transaction on such assets.

This executive order has caused an uproar in the country because of those affected by this law which has led to a travel ban being placed on 50 individuals in the country. The travel ban is said to have violated both domestic and international laws that protect citizen’s human rights and which is against the federal constitution of 1999, and notably Section 41(1) which guarantees Nigerians’ the freedom of movement although Section 41(2) (a) states that ‘the federal government may stop anyone from leaving Nigerian if he had committed a crime or is reasonably suspected to have committed a crime.’

Most critics of the order in unison agreed that the order is unconstitutional. According to Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, the president’s order shows that ‘dictators can grow old but they cannot grow into democrats.’ Others describe the order as draconian, arbitrary, repressive, illegal and contrary to the rule of law. For Dr. Olanrewaju Tosin, the action is ominous

‘I think the spirit of dictatorship is coming into play here, just like in 1983-19885 when the current president had a 20-month rule. Nigerians had decided to ignore all those sins and our judgement in 2015 was clouded by our desperate need for a new leader. Remember what he did to the Ransome Kuti family (Fela’s family)? Therefore as the election approaches and the pressure on Mr President increases, we should expect him to put out some more reckless acts out of emotion and frustration. In my opinion, this reckless act and more to come would strengthen Atiku’s hand and earn other candidates, more support. Buhari’s recklessness is expected to cause a lot of trouble and aggression in the upcoming election.’

 

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

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