More Knocks, Criticisms Trail Buhari’s Proposed Emergency Economic Bill

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By Okon Bassey

More criticisms have continued to trail the Emergency Economic
Stabilization Bill, 2016, proposed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari,
with the latest coming from a political pressure group in Akwa Ibom
State, the Akwa Ibom Vanguard.

At a press briefing in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, on Thursday, the
spokesperson for the group, Senator Anietie Okon, warned that such
bill, if passed by the National Assembly, will amount to a flagrant
disregard of the supremacy of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution (as
amended).

Urging the National Assembly to ignore the bill, Senator Okon argued
that the proposed bill will amount to a coup d’etat against the
Federating Units and the constitutional provisions that protect them.

“Suspension of any part of the 1999 constitution to give room for the
so called emergency powers will be tantamount to relapsing into a
dictatorship, tyranny and avoidable invitation to anarchy.

“Such suspension is reminiscent of an era when the military abdicated
their primary responsibilities and turned equipment and personnel to
wage war against constituted authorities by suspending the
Constitution.

“It is obvious that the elements of the present leadership, including
the President, live in a time warp,” he stated.

Okon said a careful analysis of events in the country show that
President Buhari’s administration is steadily and dangerously
promoting presidential parochialism, primodialism and lawlessness by
seeking sweeping emergency powers using the economy as a guise.

Regretting, he said: “It is appalling that this is happening in a
supposedly democratic administration in which the Vice President is a
Professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria who is expected to
advise the President on issues of law and the Constitution properly”.