By Abbanobi-Eku Onyeka
Abuja-based constitutional lawyer, Prince Orji Nwafor-Orizu has advised the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to strictly adhere to democratic rules in the interest of the electorate. He also advised the party not to jubiliate yet, pending the verdict of the Supreme Court, saying that the pending verdict is a part of electoral process which, he said the Supreme Court was the final arbiter to.
Addressing journalists recently in his chamber, Orji Nwafor- Orizu said if the Supreme Court verdict favours the APC, President Buhari should not only shun military tendency, but also stop sharing positions within a group of people in a round table, by neglecting others because they are not in the ruling party, adding that every part of the country should be represented, for democracy to reign. Nwafor-Orizu however faulted in its entirety, zoning vice president and speaker’s positions to one zone, as if other zones are not in Nigeria. Urging the party to embrace oppositions for its interest, he reminded them how the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the heart of the west due to the fact that Obasanjo embraced them, not minding that they didn’t vote for him, citing the bible story of how the prodigal son’s father happily embraced him when his son came back, irrespective of how that his son abandoned the family.
The lawyer frowned at the alleged move by the APC to impose leaders to the senate and the House of Representatives as if the legislature is not an independent arm of government. He reminded them that Jonathan as president wanted to impose speaker on the house, but the members elected a person of their choice, saying similar thing happened when the APC wanted to impose a leader on the senate and the senators elected Saraki. Though he admitted that Hon Femi Gbajabiamila was qualifed as a speaker, but suggested that for equity to reign so as to accommodate other zones and consider women, Hon (Mrs) Nkiru Onyejeocha was the most suitable candidate for the position, having been a local government chairman, commissioner as well as representing his constituency for a long time. He added that Buhari had the right over ministerial and other similar positions appointment, devoid of the intervention of the legislature, but leadership of the assembly, no! He urged Buhari to make Gbajabiamila his chief of staff, if he so loves him.
The constitutional lawyer noted with concern that the president’s anti corruption crusade was good, but added that it is not an agenda, by asking how much has be spent and recovered? He advised him to stop travelling to tell other countries that Nigeria is the most corrupt in the whole world, and wondered how many presidents have been to Nigeria to castigate their countries. Advising the president to face governance such as education, insecurity, health, power supply, infrastructure, among others, he said the fight against corruption should be left for Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and other law enforcement agencies, established for that purpose.
To the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the lawyer said was not only all inclusive and spread based on the result of the last general election, but advised that should the Supreme Court’s verdict favour the party, they should shun corruption, looting and extravagant sharing of the country’s money. He said corruption reigned supreme, when the PDP was in power, adding that they should have a policy against that.