Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka and Senator Dino Melaye have criticized President Buhari’s order to lockdown Lagos and Ogun States as a result of COVID-19 outbreak.
Soyinka, citing conditionality questioned the legality of such order as the states have some level of powers in a federal system of government as practiced by Nigeria.
According to him,
“The universal imperative and urgency of this affliction should not become an opportunistic launch pad for a sneak RE-CENTRALISATION, no matter how seemingly insignificant its appearance. I urge governors and legislators to be especially watchful. No epidemic is ever cured with constitutional piracy. It only lays down new political viruses for the future.”
In a similar development, Senator Dino Malaye has echoed Soyinka’s sentiment on President Buhari’s lockdown order.
In a statement released by Melaye, he criticized President Buhari’s for usurping the powers of the states, asking him to reach out to the National Assembly for legal backing of the order.
“It is an absurdity for the President to take over the affairs of any state without d express approval of d State House of Assembly. In the Presidential broadcast today, the President did not invoke his power of Emergency as prescribed by S.305 of d Constitution of Nigeria”
“Even if invoked, it must be with the approval of the National Assembly. The President acted outside his powers to restrict movement without approval of the National Assembly. I therefore advise Mr President to take appropriate constitutional steps and do the needful quickly,” Melaye stated.