A pro-masses group, Safe the Poor Coalition (SPC), has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing Executive Order 10, 2020 which granted financial autonomy to the state judiciary and legislature.
The group, after its virtual meeting on Sunday, described the Executive Order 10, 2020 as restructuring for the poor masses in Nigeria.
National Coordinator of SPC, Emeka Enechi, who spoke after the meeting, posited that the Executive Order was highly commendable because the law, by granting financial autonomy to state legislature and state judiciary, had unbundled freedom and devolved power to the people, an ingredient for the consolidation of democracy at the grassroots.
Enechi said: “Safe the Poor Coalition (SPC), views Executive Order 10 2020, as restructuring for the poor.
“In addition the law in no small measure devolves power and consolidates democracy at the grassroot level by granting financial autonomy to state legislature and state judiciary.”
He urged the Accountant General of the Federation to immediately give effect to this Order.
Enechi further commended Mr President and urged the governors to be compliant with Executive Order 10.
“The elephant in the room of our democracy is a scenario where for the past two decades State Governors regrettably parade themselves as Emperors by emasculating the independence of the state legislature and the judiciary. It is important to remind us that about 48 percent of our revenue goes to the states and local councils.
“The governors who have made themselves Emperors since the beginning of the 4th Republic have emasculated both the third tier of government and the legislative and judiciary arms, thereby denying the masses the dividends of democracy,” he said.
Reminded that the Governors are not happy and may head to court, Enechi said people should please ask the governors why they did not oppose the suspension of billions of debts borrowed to them as intervention funds by Mr President.
“Yes, they did not oppose the moratorium on repayment of the billions borrowed to them. Why would they now oppose devolution of powers to the people?
“On the Executive Order 10, bear in mind that the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN, must have dusted up all the lacuna and that is why Mr President stated thus: ‘Based on the power vested in me under Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I today signed into law Executive Order 10 of 2020 for implementation of financial autonomy of State legislature and judiciary’.
“With the First-Line Charge of funding envisaged by the Order, Safe the Poor Coalition strongly maintains that the implementation of financial autonomy of the State legislature and judiciary would strengthen the independence of the judiciary and stamp out rubber stamp state legislatures we have today in the 36 states of our dear country.
“Naturally the Governors want to remain Emperors, a.k.a Executive Governors and are averse to the freedom that the devolution of powers to the people will engender. But liberal democracy has throughout history generated inherent powers which curb dictatorship. Executive Order 10 is a decoder to dictatorship which stifle development at the grassroot level,” Enechi said.
Asked what Safe the Poor Coalition would do in the event of the most likely opposition from the governors, he said the group had started mobilizing the poor who make up the majority of our population across the length and breadth of the country.
“Don’t forget we are the Poverty Capital of the World, this disadvantage will be converted into an advantage. The governors generated the mass poverty we have, by squandering federal allocations that came to the state and local councils over the years.
“This is why they cherish to answer Executive Governor which is found nowhere in our Constitution, hence emasculating the state legislature and judiciary,” Enechi said.