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Governors’ disregard for constitution fueling Nigeria’s problems – Ex-Minister

Senate Minority Leader and a former Minister of the Federal Ministry Of Interior, Abba Moro, has said that governors’ disregard of the nation’s constitution is…

Senate Minority Leader and a former Minister of the Federal Ministry Of Interior, Abba Moro, has said that governors’ disregard of the nation’s constitution is one of the major challenges fuelling the country’s problems.

Moro, a senator representing Benue South stated this during a chat with ARISE TV concerning recent developments in the upper legislative chamber, especially concerning allocations.

In a bid to stop state governors from dissolving democratically elected local government councils, the Senate had recently urged the federal government to withhold funds from local government councils that ‘die without elected officials.’

The Senate, however, resolved a motion by Senator Moro of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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Commenting on the development, Moro said state governors in Nigeria fail to abide by the laws contained in the nation’s constitution because they are being protected by immunity.

He said, “It is not a problem of our constitution or our laws. It is the abuse of our laws by even those who have sworn an oath to protect the Constitution. They hide under the nebulous provision that the constitution allows state Houses of Assembly to make laws for the establishment, functioning and structuring of the local governments which is not correct.

He continued, “The functions of the local governments are clearly stated in the constitution, and the state Houses of Assembly can make laws, of course, but as it is in our legal system, we can’t make laws in a state that is inconsistent with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“And so, when, for instance, in the case of Benue State, the House of Assembly makes recommendations to the governor to disband the democratically elected councils and set up caretaker committees, it is not even law, it is a mere recommendation from the House of Assembly.

“Everybody knows that the foundation of the development of any country is the grass-root government which the local governments in Nigeria represent. And so when you bastardize it, when you emasculate it, that becomes a recipe for crisis.

Moro further said, “Every level of government has a role to play and the constitution provides for that role. And so to arrogate yourself power over the local government system, over council officials, certainly, as I said, is a recipe for crisis and anarchy. And that’s the point I wanted to make by the motion that I moved in the Senate.

“I believe that the recklessness in the use of power by the state governors is the problem of the system. For instance, if you’re talking about the law, the law as it’s contained in the constitution, Britain doesn’t have a written constitution and it has been operating effectively. Yet we have a written constitution that provides for every level of government to operate, yet, it’s been abused.

“And that’s apparently because the governors have immunity so you can’t question them while they’re in office, and so they can do anything and get away with it.

“Therefore, it’s incumbent on the federal government to enforce the law by insisting that legal things are done.”

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