Lokoja – Some Nigerians in Kogi, say President Muhammadu Buhari has strengthened Democracy and liberated the people by assenting to the financial autonomy Bill for the Judiciary and Legislative arms of government.
The respondents who spoke on in Lokoja, said Buhari had achieved a feat successive governments in the country since 1999 could not dare.
A legal practitioner and former Majority Leader of Kogi House of Assembly, Adamu Muhammed said the legislature in most states had been emasculated for a very long time by powerful governors.
“They literally pocketed the legislature in most of the states because the dictating element is money and all efforts to stop them has hit brick wall.
“If you check, you will discover that more than 15 states in the country do not have Assembly Service Commissions.
“This autonomy will give the legislature and the Judiciary free hand to do their work.
“This development will help to stabilise the state, the checks and balances enunciated in the Principle of the Separation of Powers will definitely come to work now.
“Having been free from this detention, we are singing Halleluja. Its another Democracy Day, another Freedom Day and another Independent Day for the Judiciary, and Legislative arms and the people of this country,’’ Adamu said.
To Mr Friday Ogungbemi, a Publisher, Buhari took the right step in the right direction as the legislature in various states would no longer be going “cap in hand’’ to the Executive to beg for money to perform their duties.
“I expect that the legislators would be better off in their legislative and oversight functions. This is a welcome development, I am happy for this country now.
“The Judiciary can no longer be gagged and their hands will no longer be tied like Justice Sowemimo said in Awolowo’s case in 1979. Payment of their salaries will no longer be subjected to the whims and carprices of the governors,’’ Ogungbemi said.
Dr Akoh Ojonugwa, a lecturer said the bill to him, remained the best ever passed and the assent by Mr President, his best gift this year.
Ojonugwa held that with the development, state assemblies and the judiciary would cease being appendages to the Executive as they would now assume their rightful positions.
Mr Joel Usman, also a legal practitioner in Lokoja, said hitherto, the legislative arm could not really stand to defend the interest of the people whose mandate it enjoyed because they were financially tied to the Executive.
“But by reason of this financial autonomy granted, the state Houses of Assembly should be able to stand for the people and protect their mandate.
“It is expected that they will have a vibrant and robust Houses of Assembly in all the 36 states of the Federation and the Judiciary should have no reason whatsoever not to be the last hope of the common man as it ought to be,’’ Usman said. (NAN)