Nigerian lawmakers oppose Jonathan’s plans to use Adamawa, Borno, Yobe’s allocations for emergency rule

President Goodluck Jonathan

Lawmakers insist the president has no powers to withhold state funds.

A week after limiting President Jonathan’s powers to use funds belonging to Borno, Adamawa and Yobe state for the emergency rule in those states, the House of Representatives has turned away from an agreement with the senate to give the power back to the president.

The House approved a resolution, Tuesday, insisting its earlier decision holds, mandating the president to deploy only federal funds to administer the emergency rule in the three states. The decision nullified part of a conference report it reached with the senate.

The new order will come into effect after a similar reversal is approved by the senate. The House has urged the senate to deliver a similar resolution.

The policy somersault came as governments of the affected states increasingly demonstrate impatience with the president’s initial plan which should see funds belonging to their three states and local government areas deployed unilaterally by the president.

The Adamawa state governor, Murtala Nyako, on Monday, threatened a legal action against the president if statutory funds belonging to the state were not released.

At the passage of the emergency gazette last week, while the senate agreed with the president’s plan to retain the powers to utilize funds belonging to those states, the House rebuffed the plan, and passed a version that gave Mr. Jonathan strictly security powers.

The House insisted that administrative powers, which require financing, be retained by the state governors and the council heads.

A conference meeting by both chambers late last week jettisoned the House’s position, giving back that spending power to the president.

But the House rejected that provision on Tuesday, as its conference committee reported the amendment back to the plenary.

“The house resolves to delete and revoke completely section 3(2)(e) of the harmonized, adopted and approved Emergency Powers(general) regulations, 2013 by both houses of the National Assembly,” a motion passed Tuesday said.

The lengthy resolution said the House reverted to its initial position due to “public outcry and outright opposition by majority of Nigerians” especially indigenes of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

The House also cited the “near consensus of opinion of senior advocates of Nigeria and constitutional lawyers on the constitutionality of the said section” as well as Supreme Court’s repeated rulings on the autonomy of the finances of states and local government areas.

“I will never allow the institution to be an institution of arrogance. We should avoid any position that is against the constitution,” Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal said.


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  • Afam

    let them continue to confuse themselves..the relevant section of 305 should be amended and give a clear stand on how the state of emergency should be…House of reps have continued to show their selfish political and power tussle with the senate and presidency…

    • Jadesola Fakayode

      afam, it seems you prefer a politically governed state to a law governed state. Dont you like a law governed state? It seems to me that our problems as Africans is that we are instinctively opposed to LAW. Afam, the way forward is look the LAW in the face and say “oh I may not like you -LAW- politically but we do not have any option other than FOLLOWING THE LAW. In modern states, the LAW is it. Let us be MODERN a bit afam. We need the modern in the body a bit! Please follow the LAW and not your politics and everything will begin to be well.,

      • paschal

        You succeeded in saying nothing. I was waiting to see you prove or point us to where it is in the LAW that FG under emergency rule has no such powers. Waste of writing and accusing Africans without making a point.

        • Jadesola Fakayode

          I have a civics questions for you. Which arm of govt makes the LAW? Which arm of govt, executes the LAW? Which arm of govt interprets the LAW? What is the name given to a situation where one arm of govt takes over the task of the other? If hypothetically speaking there is no LAW to back up a policy , which arm of the state has the constitutional DUTY to create a lawful framework for Mr. President to act? If you reflect on these questions(you really do not need to answer them on this platform because it really does not matter), they will help you and your thoughts. paschal and afam, the way of the modern world is THE WAY OF THE LAW. That is why inspite of the size of China and USA, they are able to keep the country going without our own kind of primitive problems which are now becoming PECULIAR to us as Africans!. Before I close this I have a question: why do you think Nigerians who go abroad FOLLOW THE LAW WHEN THEY ARE THERE, BUT IMMEDIATELY THEY LAND AT THE MURTALA MOHAMMED AIRPORT, LAGOS, THEY SAY “I BEG THIS NA NAIJA, ANYTHING GOES”?-WHICH IS ACTUALLY A EUPHEMISM FOR LAWLESSNESS. BUT 24 HOURS EARLIER BEFORE THIS NIGERIAN TOOK OFF FROM EITHER HEATHROW(LONDON) OR JFK AIRPORT(NEW YORK) HE WAS FOLLOWING THE LAW. Think my broda-something is missing culturally in us. PLEASE FOLLOW THE LAW OR AT LEAST LET THE ARM OF GOVT WHOSE JOB IS IT TO PROVIDE A LEGAL FRAMEWORK DO IT, SO THAT MR. PRESIDENT WILL ACT LAWFULLY AND WILL BE SEEN TO BE DOING SO- Abi dat one na problem again?

          • Gidi

            You hit the nail on the head. The house of reps is doing its job, which is to pass law that is within the purvey of the constitution. The body provides legal framework, in which the executive must act within.

            The idea of giving GEJ a blanc check to spend statutory allocation of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe is against the constitution despite the state of emergency. So long as the Governors are still the CEO of their states, the President cannot spend their money at will.

            I am glad the House didn’t robber stamp Senate version.

          • paschal

            There u go. Still talking away. Lemme make it simpler, this is why people fail tests, Does FG have the powers or not? Stop beating around the bush and talking off point.

          • Jadesola Fakayode

            Paschal, defending President Jonathan this way without paying attention to basic knowledge secondary school students ought to now does not help the person you want to help-Mr. President Jonathan. Making this blind defense without recognising the elementary functions of the three arms of govt does not help your principal-President Jonathan. Bad defence destroys him. Okay, you wan hear-abi? This is your question/and my answers. I will put it as question and answer to help you:

            Paschal: Does FG have powers or not?
            Fakayode: Yes, FG (President Jonathan as head of executive arm of givt) has powers. It is power to IMPLEMENT LAWS. FG (President Jonathan as head of executive arm of govt) DOES NOT HAVE POWERS TO MAKE LAWS.
            Fakayode: The powers to make laws BELONG TO THE PARLIAMENT, AND NOT THE EXECUTIVE.
            Fakayode: The executive(president Jonathan) IMPLEMENT LAWS. The Parliament (senate /house of rep) MAKES LAWS.
            You see since I see that you have some challenges, I have to BREAK THINGS DOWN FOR YOU IN CAPSULES HOPING THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND AND DIGEST THEM. Are you okay now Pashal afam?

          • paschal

            You see ur problem. You can even answer a simple question even up till now. You are saying the FG shouldn’t control the state and council funds in a state of emergency. The question is, does the FG have d powers to? I’m sure u don’t know the answer that’s why I’m asking u. But u can do yourself a favour and go and check then u come back and see if u have anything to contribute. I don’t if Jonathan or even u is at the helm of affairs. What I know is what is laid down as rules in the country. Congrats that you know the FG is executive arm that executes, and the House legislative dt makes d laws. Hope u r happy now. Newsflash: that’s not the point here. Try and get info correct before u begin trying drama or literature writing.

          • Jadesola Fakayode

            afam-paschal,

            I am happy that we finally got to the point of the state emergency. Do you remember when it was criticized? What did your principal-President Jonathan say? he said “Oh we have a state of emergency but we leave the executive powers of the state govt INTACT. Baby afam, we have got to the point now-abi? You see, the presidency and his online people like you think Nigerians are stupid. GEJ justified the state of emergency by saying that “the EXECUTIVE powers of the state govt ARE INTACT” To your comment Paschal/Afam: “You see ur problem. You can even answer a simple question even up till
            now. You are saying the FG shouldn’t control the state and council funds
            in a state of emergency…”

            Jadesola Fakayode: It is NOT me that Is saying so. IT IS PRESIDENT JONATHAN THAT SAID SO-THAT DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY THE POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNORS AND THE STATE ARE INTACT.”
            Addendum: Paschal/mpitkwelu/afam/Mani_kay- I knew all along that you will get to a point where you will help expose President Jonathan’s HYPOCRISY and FRAUD in the state of emergency. So given that Jonathan said emergency DID NOT touch powers of STATE GOVT, why DOES HE WANT TO TOUCH THE POWERS AGAIN.? Una don kill una selves for presidency. I am happy I pushed you a bit to COMMIT!!! You BETRAYED A LOT HERE baaaaby. ol boy, having “commit with your mouth, abeg make we leave dat one for now. Yu don reveal enough finis! Make we talk about di one wey akpabio do for una. So di question be : how was the election at the Governors Forum where Akpabio used his own hands to rig for Jang? Afam, I am moving ahead because you have just told us that President Jonathan LIED with the state of emergency when he said that executive powers of the state govt are untouched-abi wetin again akpos1?-noting to add now-

  • Efe1

    This is the problem GEJ did not envisage when he politically retained the governor whiles declaring the emergency rule. Had he sacked them, he will have the free hand to do what he like to achieve peace and security in these states. I blame the president for this impasse simple.

  • Peter2000

    The house of rep, the home of the APC. What a bunch of Confusionist