- Some Nigerians have expressed worries over recent happenings in the country
- According to some Southern and Middle Belt leaders, the country’s democracy is under threat
- The leaders urged the INEC to drop the idea of creating new polling units ahead of the next elections
Some Southern and Middle Belt leaders on Tuesday, April 24, decried the recent happenings in the country, expressing fears that Nigeria’s democracy is under threat, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com gathered that the leaders condemned the payment of $496 million to the United States government for the purchase of Tucano aircraft by President Muhammadu Buhari without the approval of the National Assembly.
The group described the action of Buhari on release of unapproved funds as a violation of the constitution, “because the constitution is clear on how executive can spend funds”.
The leaders further condemned the possibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) creating new polling units less than a year to elections, urging the commission to drop the idea ahead of the 2019 general elections.
A communiqué read by John Nwodo at the end of the meeting, stated: “Section 80 (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution is very clear on how the President could spend Nigerian funds.
"The provision states ‘No money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly. As it is, the President has violated the provision of the highest law in the land.
”Nigeria is a republic founded on rule of law, where each arm of government is bound to be guided by the dictates of the Constitution, this flagrant violation and unapproved spending must be abated as well as sanctioned.
”We therefore call on the National Assembly to do the needful as well as call on the United States Government to return the money paid to its treasury as the money paid is not authorised.”
The leaders of regional groups at the meeting were: Edwin Clark; Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere leader; Nwodo, president general, Ohanaeze; and Bala Takaya, president of the Middle Belt Forum.
Also present at the meeting were Olu Falae, Olusegun Mimiko, Dan Suleiman, Chris Anyanwu, Jonah Jang, Obadiah Mailafia, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Tony Nyiam, Femi Okunrunmu, Kayode Ajulo, Supo Shonibare, Yinka Odumakin, among others.
The leaders also condemned the recent invasion of the Senate chamber by some hoodlums who made away with the mace, describing it as a “national disgrace,” urging security agencies to investigate and bring to book those behind the invasion.
Concerning the bloodletting going on in parts of the nation, the group said: “In the circumstance, we are left with no alternative than to call on Nigerians to employ self-defence, self-defence as permissible in law when any citizen is faced with the risk of imminent death in the circumstances we find ourselves now."
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In a previous report by NAIJ.com, President Muhammadu Buhari said he ordered the withdrawal of $462m from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the procurement of 12 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States without the approval of the National Assembly because he believed the lawmakers would have no objection to his action.
Premium Times reports that in a letter read in the Senate chamber on Wednesday, April 25, the president said the ongoing security emergencies in the nation necessitated his action.
Nigerian Air Force operations against Boko Haram on NAIJ.com TV.