The Presidency on Wednesday warned critics against attacking President Muhammadu Buhari over the ongoing restructuring debate in the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, asked opinion leaders to exercise restraint in their choice of words in order to avoid heating up the polity and causing acrimony across the nation.
He said it was “a matter of great satisfaction” that a majority of the citizens welcomed the president’s broadcast on Monday.
Shehu said “to critique the president for not responding restructuring on the country – whatever that means – is completely off the mark.”
He said while Nigerians are free to express themselves; they should exercise such liberty with restraint and a sense of responsibility.
According to him, calling Buhari an enemy of Nigeria “is in extreme bad taste. Nothing in Buhari’s service record would justify such scurrilous language.”
He stated: “The president has no power to impose restructuring on the country by military fiat. The National Assembly members are the elected representatives of the people who can handle agitations for restructuring and other constitutional changes. The president is constitutionally bound to work with the National Assembly to deal with such complex issues. The president will not exercise arbitrary powers or bypass the legislature in taking such fundamental decisions.
“Changes don’t happen on a whim in a democracy. The immediate effect military mentality cannot work under a democratic order. Since the President has sworn to defend the constitution, he would remain faithful to that oath by working with the legislature in taking major decisions on the future of Nigeria’s federal system.
” The country’s parliament is ready and willing to discuss all issues but the pundits are more interested in TV and newspaper headlines. Threats don’t work in a democracy. Democracy requires planning and proper process. Issues are resolved through established processes, not by abuses, insults or irresponsible statements.”