FMR. NBA President Daudu [SAN] Knocks Buhari Over Request To Pick Successor, Says It’s Nigerians’ Prerogative To Elect New President
Amid public outrage trailing President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to pick his successor, a former President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Joseph Daudu (SAN) Thursday faulted the president’s demand, describing it as patently unconstitutional while likening it to a coup d’etat.
Daudu, therefore, noted that Buhari’s demand flagrantly violated section 1(1)(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).
He made this observation in an open letter to the president, pointing out that Nigerians “retain the right to choose a new president that will correct the existing maladies that have befallen us.”
Buhari had solicited the support of governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to pick his successor, who would fly the flag of the APC for election into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.
He justified his demand on the ground that he had encouraged first-term governors to seek re-election and second-term governors accorded the privilege of promoting successors without interference from the presidency.
He therefore appealed to the progressive governors “to allow our interests to converge, our focus to remain on the changing dynamics of our environment, the expectations of our citizens and the global community.”
Across the federation, the demand of the president had stoked public consternation and dissension with different interests within and outside the APC likening it an attempt to compromise the process of nominating the flag bearer of the APC.
In his letter to the president, specifically, Daudu observed that Buhari’s request breached section 1(1)(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which according to him, the president should not be discussing in the open.
He added that the measure the president suggested at the meeting with the APC governors “is patently unconstitutional and akin to a coup d’ etat. Mr President, kindly disentangle yourself from this subterfuge.”
Apart from constitutionally lacking in vires and legality, the senior advocate observed that Buhari’s demand for reciprocity “is also morally abhorrent. The scenario here is that after eight years your scorecard is low and the people have the right to insist on bringing who they think is the right person to make changes.”
He, therefore, asked the president to drop this idea of looking for a successor for your office, which he said, was an answer to the present inept style of governance, which a lot of Nigerians seem to appreciate.
The senior advocate, also, asked the president “to allow the process of producing fresh leaders to take its course so that you can retire in peace.”
In line with the principles of the 1999 Constitution, Daudu noted that the president and his cohorts “lack power to pick a successor. It is a sign that the AP has forgotten or has no idea of what the basic principles of democracy are.
“It is also a sign that Mr. President and his cohorts are all determined to take from the people that remaining power in their hands guaranteed by no less a document i.e., the Nigerian Constitution to change their leaders.
“It is the sole prerogative of Nigerians to search for a presidential leader who will govern them for four years come 2023 and to the extent that you are just one solitary Nigerian you cannot usurp that remaining right and exercise it for us,” the senior advocate said in his letter to the president.
Daudu, also, lamented that Nigeria “is in a very dire situation. No one is safe again in Nigeria. I am confident you are not proud of the level of insecurity posed by banditry, by your kinsmen -herdsmen, wanton and rabid acts of kidnapping being carried out nationwide strictly for money,
He further decried the high level of religious intolerance, collapse of the economy, devaluating and galloping inflation, unemployment, corruption, lack of productivity, industrial collapse and food insecurity due to inability of farmers to access farmlands, all of which had undermined internal stability.
He observed that the emerging government of terrorists and bandits would not allow the farmers “to farm and produce food for the populace,” lamenting political and social decline, drug addiction and growing criminality.