Published on Aug 23, 2017 Greenbarge Reporters
“Democracy requires planning and proper process. Issues are resolved through established processes, not by abuses, insults or irresponsible statements.”
These were views of the Presidency, in reaction to criticism, by former Nigerian Aviation minister, Femi Fani Kayode and others on the speech contained in a broadcast to the nation by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.
In a statement by the senior special adviser to the President on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency emphasised: “the country’s parliament is ready and willing to discuss all issues but the pundits are more interested in TV and newspaper headlines. Threats don’t work in a democracy.”
The statement said that for criticising the President for not responding to restructuring of the country – whatever that means – is completely off the mark.
It said that the President has no power to impose restructuring on the country by military dictate, adding that the National Assembly members are the elected representatives of the people who can handle agitation for restructuring and other constitutional changes.
“The President is constitutionally bound to work with the National Assembly to deal with such complex issues. The President would not exercise arbitrary powers or bypass the legislature in taking such fundamental decisions.
“Changes don’t happen on a whim in a democracy.”
The statement said that the ‘immediate effect’ of military mentality cannot work under a democratic order and that since the President has sworn to defend the constitution, he would remain faithful to that oath by working with the legislature in taking major decisions on the future of Nigeria’s federal system.
It stressed that while Nigerians are free to express themselves, they should exercise such liberty with restraint and a sense of responsibility.
The statement said that those who tagged the President Buhari an enemy of Nigeria is in extreme bad taste, adding that nothing in Buhari’s service record would justify such scurrilous language.
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