Don’t challenge legislative autonomy, Senator advises govs

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Ex-Nasarawa State governor Abdullahi Adamu has advised the governors warming up to challenge the Federal Government’s decision to grant state Houses of Assembly financial autonomy in court against the move.

After granting councils financial autonomy, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), pulled off a special surprise when he granted state legislature and judiciary autonomy on Friday.

And a majority of the governors are reportedly not happy with the decision and are planning to take legal action.

But Adamu, who spoke with our correspondent in an interview, defended the legislative autonomy, saying it was the best for the country, because it would enhance good governance.

The President said his administration would “continue to do everything to strengthen the principles and practice of democratic governance in Nigeria”.

He said, “Based on the power vested in me under Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), I, today, signed into law Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 for the implementation of Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary.”

Adamu, who represents Nasarawa West in the Senate, said the amendment carried out by his colleagues in the 8th National Assembly was aimed at promoting good governance.

He said, “It (state legislative autonomy) will promote good governance, some of us have been yearning for it over the years.

“I hear that they (governors) want to challenge it. Yes, they are free to do so but the law was made in the interest of good governance for the legislature and for the judiciary to be truly independent.

“They (legislature and judiciary) should have their funding directly from the source without necessarily having to go through somebody.

“They need to be independent to enable them to carry out their constitutional responsibility.

“People are saying that the state assemblies have become annexes of the state executives. I believe that they are not as free as they should be.

“I believe that there are certain situations that the state assemblies don’t feel free to do what they want to do in accordance with their duties as stipulated in the constitution of the country.

“Freeing them from the budgetary control would enhance their performance. It is just a matter of giving them the chance.”

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