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Buhari must address Nigerians, SGF lacks powers to extend lockdown —PDP



ZAMFARA: Supreme Court has saved Nigeria from constitutional crisis - PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the announcement made by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, of an extension of lockdown and curfew in the country in relation to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The party said by the dictates of Nigeria’s Constitution, the SGF had no such authority to assume Presidential powers by proxy, direct or indirect.

It therefore, told Buhari that Nigerians were still waiting for his address on COVID-19 matters.

The SGF, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, on Monday addressed Nigerians on the Federal Government’s next line of action on ease of lockdown placed on Abuja as well as Lagos and Ogun states.

The SGF during the address said the ease of lockdown had been extended for two more weeks. He also announced an extension of the total lockdown in Kano for two more weeks.

However, in a statement on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition faulted the decision of the Buhari-led government to allow the SFG address the nation in such a matter.

The statement read: “Our party points out that nowhere in our laws are the powers to broadcast Presidential executive orders to declare curfew and restriction of movements vested in the Office of the SGF.

“The action of the SGF has brought serious confusion in the polity regarding the legality or otherwise of the directives contained in the SGF’s announcement.

“Such powers are vested in the person and office of Mr. President and not exercisable by proxy, directly or indirectly; which makes the action of the SGF a recipe for serious constitutional crisis in our country.

“Our nation is a state governed by dictates of the law, particularly in the exercise of powers vested in statutory offices, especially that of the President.

“The PDP holds that the announcement by the SGF is, therefore, another manifestation of abuse of our statutory offices arising from the abdication of responsibilities by President Buhari since the last five years, which had also become more pronounced in this fight against COVID-19.

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“Our party, therefore, invites Mr. President to end the confusion in the polity, arising from the action of the SGF, by immediately addressing Nigerians in his official capacity to fulfill the demands of our laws in respect of the necessary protocols on restrictions and other management procedures in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in our country.”

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