The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has no powers to broadcast presidential executive orders or announce an extension of lockdown as part of efforts to stem the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The SGF, who is also the Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Monday announced the extension of the current phase of eased restriction for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.
According to him, the two weeks extension of Phase one of the eased restriction is also to enable other segments of the economy prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines, preparatory to reopening in the coming weeks.
The party in a statement on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan claimed that the action of the SGF has brought serious confusion in the polity regarding the legality or otherwise of the directives contained in the SGF’s announcement.
The PDP argued that the announcement by the SGF who is also the Chairman of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, was “a manifestation of abuse of statutory offices arising from the abdication of responsibilities by President Buhari since the last five years, which had also become more pronounced in this fight against COVID-19.”
Our party points out that nowhere in our laws are the powers to broadcast presidential executive orders to declare curfew and restriction of movements vested in the Office of the SGF.
“Such powers are vested in the person and office of Mr. President and not exercisable by proxy, directly or indirectly; which makes the action of the SGF a recipe for serious constitutional crisis in our country.
“Our nation is a state governed by dictates of the law, particularly in the exercise of powers vested in statutory offices, especially that of the President.
“Our party, therefore, invites Mr. President to end the confusion in the polity, arising from the action of the SGF, by immediately addressing Nigerians in his official capacity to fulfill the demands of our laws in respect of the necessary protocols on restrictions and other management procedures in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in our country,” the party said.