HUMAN rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has stated that the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, only speaks for the Federal Government and not the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Also, the lawmaker representing Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency in Kogi State at the House of Representatives, Teejay Yusuf, also stated that Nigerians need to hear directly from Buhari on his position on the resolutions reached by the Southern Governors’ Forum on Tuesday.
Yusuf said they were tired of hearing from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Falana and Yusuf as well as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on States and Local Governments, Senator Lekan Mustapha, made their views known on Wednesday while featuring on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television.
Falana stated, “If they expect that the Presidency will act on these resolutions, the governors may be wasting their precious time. What happened today was that the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on behalf of the government, ‘no, we are not opposed to restructuring; however, we don’t want a separation of the country.’
“Was he speaking for the President or for the Federal Government? That was why the governors were asking the President to address the nation by responding to these fundamental suggestions made to advance the cause of the unity of this country.”
“When it was clear about three years ago that the APC had abandoned the demands for power devolution; that the Federal Government… the Buhari administration was not interested in restructuring, the APC was embarrassed and the (2019) election was around the corner.
“So, the APC quickly set up a committee headed by the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai. That committee came up with profound recommendations on restructuring. Again, the Presidency has not acted on the recommendations.”
In his remarks, Yusuf, who stated that the move by the governors was overdue, said, “It is now for the President and our brothers from the North to see beyond partisanship, ethnicity, religion and adopt these procedures that have been laid down.”
He added, “Garba Shehu is not the President of Nigeria. We are tired of hearing from Garba Shehu. In a situation like this, the President rises and speaks. Just on COVID-19, the President of Kenya speaks monthly to the people of Kenya.”