August 24, 2016
Senators Reject Buhari’s Emergency Powers Bill, Say It Will Make Him Too Powerful
The move by President Muhammadu Buhari to secure "emergency powers" to address the nation’s economic crisis may not see the light of the day, as some senators have rejected the proposed bill, saying Mr Presidency could transform himself into a tyrant and foist a dictatorship on the nation.
According to Thisday, the bill entitled, “Emergency Economy Stabilisation Bill 2016”, will be sent to the National Assembly by the president upon resumption from its summer vacation and after the Eid el Kabir holidays.
However, given the reaction of some senators to the proposed emergency powers being sought by Buhari through the bill, the legislation may be thrown out.
Several senators, who spoke to Thisday, vehemently kicked against it, saying it is “dead on arrival”.
According to the senators, who did not want to be named, some of the provisions in the bill were unnecessary, describing it as nothing more than a subtle way of avoiding counterpart funding by the Buhari administration.
According to them, if the bill is passed as proposed, the president will gradually transform himself into a dictator and draw Nigeria back to the path of military rule, which it exited 17 years ago.
They said without the so-called emergency powers at his disposal, Buhari has continued to trample on the powers of the legislature, explaining that if given further powers, he would more or less reduce the National Assembly to a rubber stamp like the kinds of legislature that exist in China and Russia.
Hence, the senators vowed to kill the bill.
An unnamed government official had told reporters last weekend that Buhari would seek emergency powers from the National Assembly to push his planned stimulus for the economy.
The objectives of the bill will include shoring up the value of the naira, job creation, boosting foreign exchange reserves, reviving the manufacturing sector, and improving power supply.