The main opposition in Nigerian politics, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday frowned at what it described as the assumption of Presidential powers by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, to announce an extension of lockdown and curfew in Nigeria in relation to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
In a statement, the opposition party, PDP points out that nowhere in the Nigerian constitution are the powers to broadcast Presidential executive orders to declare curfew and restriction of movements vested in the Office of the SGF.
According to the PDP, “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. “
The PDP, notes that “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.”
The PDP called on President Buhari to immediately address Nigerians so as to put an end to what it calls constitutional ambiguity created by the pronouncement of the SGF.
“We, 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 fulfil 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.”