- The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) boss has tackled those questioning President Muhammadu Buhari's lockdown directive
- Salihu Lukman, in a statement, asked those criticising the lockdown order to focus on the bigger picture
- Lukman also queried the objective of prominent Nigerians who are behind the ongoing debate
Salihu Lukman, the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) director-general, has asked those still questioning the legality of the lockdown imposed on the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states by the president to focus on the bigger picture.
The DG of the forum in a statement on Wednesday, April 1, explained that Nigerians saying President Muhammadu Buhari should have consulted the National Assembly that's on recess is unrealistic and simplistic, Vanguard reports
Lukman in his statement further called for prayers for the speedy recovery of prominent government officials who tested positive for COVID-19 such as Governors Nasir El-Rufai, Bala Mohammed, Seyi Makinde, Abba Kyari, and all those infected in the country.
He also queried the objective of the ongoing debate asking whether if questioning the legality of the lockdown order was to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy in response to emergencies or to simply flex legal muscles so as to invalidate the government actions.
He said: “The moment of decision with respect to the lockdown is the declaration by the President in his speech of Sunday, March 29, for which our legal experts and activists are contesting that it should have been referred to the National Assembly at a time when the threat of COVID-19 will not permit the National Assembly to sit.
All the debate about whether the President should seek the approval of the National Assembly before declaring the lockdown is therefore simply unrealistic in the circumstance."
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Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo reacted to statements by some prominent Nigerians challenging President Buhari's lockdown order over COVID-19.
One of those who have kicked against the two-week stay-at-home order given by the president is Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka. In a recent statement, Soyinka had questioned the legality of President Buhari's directive, arguing that Nigeria is a "not in a war emergency".
Osinbajo, responding to this position, pointed out that the president actually has extensive powers under the Quarantine Act of 1926 to order a lockdown when the need calls for it.
Similarly, the presidency has tackled Nigeria's literary giant over his comments on President Buhari’s lockdown order of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states.
Reacting on Wednesday, April 1, the presidency said though Soyinka had the right to his own opinion, his intervention was misplaced and misleading, noting that he had strayed away from his professional expertise.
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