By Olisemeka Obeche
President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday, in Abuja, said efforts to ensure autonomy for state legislatures and judiciary will further strengthen democracy and deepen inclusiveness of citizens by guaranteeing fairness for ordinary Nigerians.
According to a statement issued by the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari made the declaration while receiving report of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and Judiciary.
He stressed that his government would study the report and recommendations and take appropriate decision.
“I went through terrible times getting here for the three times I contested elections. That’s why I want to stabilise the system so that others will not pass through the same experience.
“Both young and ordinary Nigerians depend on the leadership to ensure that justice is always done. So, we must ensure that trust is not compromised. This administration will take the report seriously,’’ he added.
The chairman of the committee and immediate past Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said implementation of the recommendations will entrench constitutionalism, democratic principles and separation of powers.
“The recommendations clearly spell out that if uniform modules for implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and state judiciary are approved for implementation across 36 states, it will, no doubt, strengthen Nigeria’s democratic principles, practices and public governance,’’ he said.
Malami added that the committee had observed that many states honoured the constitutional provisions for financial autonomy in the breach, than in observance, noting that the legislature and judiciary remain the last hope of the common man and should be given autonomy.
He said the committee consulted with state governors, Chief Judges of states, Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, Civil Society Organisations and relevant stakeholders, including members of the public.
The Presidential Implementation Committee on Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary was inaugurated by President Buhari on March 22, 2019, to fashion out strategies and modalities for implementation of the financial autonomy of the state legislature and state judiciary in compliance with Section 121 (3) of the 1999 constitution (As Amended).