A chieftain of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State, Alhaji Hassan Sheriff, today applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing Executive Order 10 which grants financial autonomy to state legislature and judiciary.
Addressing a press conference in Bauchi, Sheriff noted that by the Executive Order, states yet to give the assemblies and judiciaries autonomy would be forced to do so now.
According to him, the implication of any state refusing to give the much-needed autonomy to the legislature and judiciary is that the Executive Order 10 empowers the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from funds accruable to the states from the federation account and release same to the legislature and judiciary.
Sheriff stated that before now state lawmakers and judges were not independent, declaring that this is clearly against the principle of separation of power.
He added that the situation was very bad in some states where governors subjugate the legislature and judiciary to their whims and caprices, adding that they do this by withholding funds that ought to go to the state houses of assembly and judiciary.
This, according to the APC chieftain, this is done by some governor to make the two arms of government at the state level to remain under the influence of the laws passed by the assemblies as well as tamper with the administration of justice in courts.
He stated that with the Executive Order 10 signed by President Buhari, an end has come to all that, adding that impunity and shortchanging of the legislature and judiciary has ended.
He added that the autonomy given to them would enable the two arms of government to work in the best interest of the masses.
“The president has now brought succour to our state assemblies and judiciary through the Executive Order 10. Henceforth, the kind of impunity and shortchanging of the legislature and the judiciary by governors is over.
“Our lawmakers will now be independent and work in the best interest of the masses. And the glory of the judiciary will now be restored. They will now do justice to all and sundry,” Sheriff declared.
The APC chieftain in Bauchi State also called on governors to give local governments financial autonomy.
He said local government elections should be conducted when due by the state government to enable people at that level elect those who will rule them instead of governors appointing caretaker leaders for the councils.
Doing this, Sheriff submitted, will not only deepen and strengthen democracy in the country but also bring government closer to the people at the grassroots