The Presidency in his reaction to the agitations on restructuring by Nigerians has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to restructure the country but the issue is that he does not have the constitutional power to do so, adding that only the National Assembly does.
This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu at a media parley with House of Representatives correspondents.
Garba Shehu urged proponents of restructuring to take their agitation for restructuring to the national assembly as the Buhari-led administration is committed to the promise which is contained in APC manifesto.
He said: “We in the APC are committed to restructuring. Read the manifesto of the APC. It is stated there and so, we are not running away from it. President Buhari is ready to restructure the country.
“The problem we have with a lot of the proponents of restructuring is that they are looking for the fastest way to that restructuring. They don’t want to use the parliament. They want to use extra constitutional bodies and that is untidy. If you are a democrat, you abide by the processes.
“The parliament is the institution of government working with the executive and the judiciary. For you to say no you want to do a congress at Yaba Market Square and debate; do you want to cause a fight.
“We must be organised and follow due process. If you have a case on restructuring, come to the parliament. In any case, the Senate President has announced that this 9th Parliament will start constitutional amendment in January. So, bring your issue. These are intelligent people voted for by the people.
“Those who shout restructuring saying they want a parallel body to-do that, we have said to them that they are wrong. The sovereignty of the people resides with the parliament and so, if you want to restructure the country, come to the parliament.
“If you don’t have confidence in the parliamentarians you have voted for, wait for four years and vote them out and choose another set of people. But you cannot circumvent the role of the parliament in a democracy and it is key to whatever restructuring you want,” he said.
While reacting on the controversial social media bill, the Presidential spokesperson insisted that the proposed death penalty is not the only thing contained in the bill.
Garba Shehu disclosed that there is need to curb fake news as it can lead to the death of other Nigerians which is not acceptable.
He said: “It is your responsibility as the media to help the Nigerian government on the issue of hate speech before the parliament. The Minister of Information, who speaks for the Nigerian government, has spoken of the necessity of a law to govern social media.
“I am being careful on what he wants to do because I think there are parallel processes going on. I also blame the media for creating unnecessary controversy. If you look at the law being discussed, the media has focused more on the death penalty for fake news.
“You have a responsibility of studying that bill. Only a few days ago, the American Ambassador met the sponsor of that bill and at the end, he said Nigerians should have a rethink. It is your duty to reap it open and tell Nigerians what it contained. The bill is not all about death penalty or free speech,” he said.
He also said, “I think we have a problem that Nigerians have to address. Nobody is saying that President Buhari or the parliament should impose a law against the press. I am happy that they will hold public hearing on this and if you have any objection to some of the elements, come forward and tell parliament that you have objection. This country needs a law that will regulate social media and attack fake news.”
On claims of the current parliament being a rubber stamp legislature, Garba Shehu said;
“Anybody who is thinking that because the parliament and the executive has worked together on the finance bill and the budget within record time, so we are dealing with a rubber stamp parliament, such a person better look back and see what happened in the past.”
BREAKING: Buhari Returns To Abuja After London Trip
The President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja after participating at the United Kingdom Africa Investment Summit in London.
BREAKING: FG, South-West Governors Agree On Amotekun
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, met today with South West Governors, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police.
According to a statement from the Office of the Vice President, the meeting was at the instance of the Governors who had asked to see President Muhammadu Buhari over the controversy surrounding the Amotekun Initiative.
However, due to the President’s foreign engagement, he asked the Vice President to host the meeting.
The statement signed by Mr. Laolu Akande a special aide to the Vice President, suggest that the meeting was very fruitful.
It (the statement) revealed that unanimous resolutions were made on the way forward.
“Having regard to the need for all hands to be on deck in addressing the security concerns across the country, it was agreed that the structure of Amotekun should also align with the Community Policing strategy of the Federal Government.
“It was also agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the States to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure,” the statement read in part.
BREAKING: Arrest Miyetti Allah Leaders, CAN Tells FG
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has advised the Federal Government to arrest the leaders of the Miyetti Allah for allegedly sponsoring crimes in the country.
CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, gave the advice in a chat with reporters in Abuja.
Ayokunle, who expressed sadness over the recent killings in the northern part of the country, especially that of the Adamawa State CAN chairman, said: “The Federal Government should order the arrest of the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Groups in who are sponsoring and perpertuating the crime of Nigeria and prosecute them for all the killings in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and Taraba states, among others”.