EXECUTIVE MUST NOT MUZZLE THE LEGISLATURE:- says HURIWA
A pro-democracy and non-governmental organization- Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to rein in his officials who are behind series of subterranean plots aimed at demarketing the legislative arm of government and render it unpopular in the eyes of Nigerians.
But the group has also challenged the National Assembly’s Hierarchy to implement broad-based measures which would open up the running of the legislature and to make the Nigerian people the real owners of the process of law making process.
HURIWA alleged that national legislators are cut off from their constituents and treat them like political prisoners just as the group tasked the National Assembly's leadership to work out ways of monitoring their members in their constituencies to ensure that all the legislators in Abuja frequently attends to the needs, aspirations of their constituents by way of providing legislative oversight to achieve good governance.
In a statement in reaction to the series disparaging remarks and actions of members of the Executive Arm of Government who are appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari against the National Assembly, the Rights Group affirmed that the outright refusal of the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service retired Colonel Hameed Ali and the embattled Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal to honour the summons of the upper legislative chamber amounted to a coup plot against democracy.
The group also carpeted the Presidency for refusing to fire the acting chairman of EFCC Ibrahim Magu who failed two confirmation hearings.
In the jointly signed media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and Miss Zainab Yusuf the National Media Affairs Director, HURIWA also alleged that it is aware of moves by key officials of the Presidency to procure the services of hired mobs to stage choreographed demonstrations against the Senate of The Federal Republic at strategic points in Abuja and around the six-geopolitical zones..
Huriwa Said: “we are of the opinion that it is in the self-enlightened interest of president Muhammadu Buhari to direct his aides to comply with the directives and invitations of the National Assembly because section 4; 88 and 89 of the constitution confers the National Assembly with the binding powers to summon government officials in the exercise of their functions as law makers”.
HURIWA faulted the claim of Professor Itse Sagay of the Presidential Advisory Council against corruption that the National Assembly lacks powers to invite him because according to the Rights group since Professor Itse Sagay is remunerated from allocations appropriated by the National Assembly the legislative arm of government has the Powers to so invite him.
HURIWA however is calling on senate president Bukola Saraki and the speaker Mr. Yakubu Dogara to dismantle the opaque nature of running the legislature and to open up the law making process to make it much more people friendly.
“The national assembly must work with credible civil society groups and Nigerians so as to promote the administration and implementation of policies that promote good governance. The National Assembly should also work for the people so as to earn their buy in. Let the squabbling end so Nigerians can have a clean copy of the year 2017 Appropriation Act".