Posted by News Express | 10 March 2020 | 1,072 times
By BOLA BADMUS, Lagos
A group, Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), has enjoined Nigerians to reject the Senate’s proposed bill on the Armed Forces Service Commission, describing the bill and its contents as “narcissist, anti-democratic and a prelude to chaos and breach of public law and order.”
The group made the call on Monday in a statement signed by its president, Mr. Sabo Ode, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Lagos, declaring as unconstitutional for the National Assembly to propose such a bill.
Sponsored by the lawmaker representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the bill will give the Senate authority to appoint Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Director of Military Intelligence and heads of other arm-bearing security agencies.
The bill will also provide for the establishment of the Armed Forces Service Commission, which shall have the power and authority pursuant to Section 219 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Ode, while rubbishing the bill, describing it as “repugnant to the principles of democracy; a satanic wish to curtail the powers of Mr. President on security matters, and a despicable plot to hamstrung the Presidency,” argued that Abaribe and others would have to amend the constitution for this to happen.
“This Coalition is extremely worried that most times these accidental politicians who have found themselves in the national parliament are not only barren of ideas but devoid of the basic skills, wisdom, and procedures of legislation that would meaningfully ginger national development and progress.
“It is not the responsibility of our Coalition or the civil society to educate members of the National Assembly on their elementary roles as national legislators.
But we cannot restrain our emotions in bemoaning the fact that these men and women want Nigerians to believe they don’t know the supremacy of our Constitution and the limits of their interference with it through Bills and Acts emanating therefrom.
“Give and take, the NASS has no powers to make laws on any matter which the Constitution has not granted such powers to it or made express provisions for it until the Constitution itself is amended.
“We expect the lawmakers to know that regardless of whatever they consider as loopholes in existing laws, as long as it is reflected in the Constitution, its wishful thinking that subsidiary laws by an Act of parliament can vacate the potency, effect or functionality of provisions of the Constitution unless it is amended,” the group stated.
The coalition, while calling on Nigerians to rise and defend their democracy, warned the Senate against what it termed its planned instigation of constitutional crisis through the contents of a Bill that seeks to undermine the powers of Mr. President on the appointment of Service Chiefs.
“The Coalition for Nigeria Movement finds it pertinent to caution that the Senate should avoid its planned instigation of Constitutional crisis through the contents of a Bill which seeks to undermine the powers of Mr. President on the appointment of Service Chiefs.
“Mr. President is the Chief Security Officer of Nigeria and takes responsibility for every act of security breach which is of national dimension. It is illogical to severe such powers and resides it in another organ or body as contemplated by this repulsive Bill,” the group said.
The Coalition further described the Bill as “repugnant to the principles of democracy; a satanic wish to curtail the powers of Mr. President on security matters, and a despicable plot to hamstrung the Presidency,” declaring that no country had ever contemplated such.
“No country contemplates it. It is indisputably, a planned attempt to stage a coup against the spirit and intendment of the Constitution of Nigeria and an invitation to anarchy in the country.
“This Coalition of eminent and patriotic citizens consequently implores all patriots everywhere in Nigeria and abroad to rise against the Bill and its contents. It is narcissist, anti-democratic and a prelude to chaos and breach of public law and order,” he further declared. (Nigerian Tribune)
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