By Yemi Adeleye
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sen. Bola Tinubu has warned soldiers planning a coup d’etat in the country to stop it as they would be resisted.
Tinubu gave the warning at the Lagos Assembly Special Parliamentary Session to celebrate Lagos at 50, Second Anniversary of the 8th Assembly and official inauguration of L-Shaped Assembly Complex.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the army had, in a statement on May 16, warned all officers and soldiers to steer clear of politicians trying to woo them.
Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, the army spokesman, had said in the statement that the warning followed information received by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai that, “some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons.”
“On the basis of that, the army chief, has warned such persons to desist from these acts.
“He also reminded them that Nigerian army is a thorough professional, disciplined, loyal and apolitical institution that has clear constitutional roles and responsibilities,” the statement read in part.
Buratai, according to the statement, had advised military personnel, who were interested in politics, “to resign their commission or apply for voluntary discharge forthwith.”
Tinubu, speaking on the issue, said any attempt to truncate democratic rule in the country would be resisted.
“Coup plotters would find no fertile ground to plant their seed in the land. Whatever they want to sell is a bad product, we are going to reject it, we are going to resist it. They should not try it,” he said.
Tinubu hailed the Lagos State House of Assembly for prioritising welfare of Lagosians since the return of democracy.
He said that the state legislature had contributed immensely to the growth and development of Lagos through good laws.
“Thank you (lawmakers) for the great job that you are doing in Lagos. It is clear that the welfare of the people is a priority to you.
“Legislature is vital to the welfare of the people, the good laws made here have improved the living standard of the people. It is these laws passed by this House that the executive acts on.
“All the executive actions must have the authority of the law. The power of legislature must be exercised within the context of the people’s desire and what they deserve.
“Most of these successes in Lagos are based on the enlightened and wise laws you made. Lagos Assembly has done well, I am asking you to do more,” Tinubu said.
The former governor, however, said that there was need for collaboration between the legislature and the executive for the people to reap the fruits of good governance.
Tinubu described Governor Akinwunmi Ambode as `a wonder boy` based on his performance within two years.
The APC National Leader said that cooperation between the executive and legislative arms should not stop the legislature from performing its oversight functions responsibly.
Tinubu, who highlighted several laws enacted by the assembly, said that progress of the state is based on the cooperation among organs of government.
According to him, previous administrations, including the one he led between 1999 and 2007 in the state, laid foundation and set agenda for the progress being celebrated in the state.
In his remarks, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said that the success story of Lagos could not be well documented without the effort of the legislature.
Ambode urged the House to continue to be relevant by raising the standard of legislative performance.
The Guest Speaker, Prof. Patrick Lumumba, the Director of the Kenyan School of Law, Nairobi, said the legislature occupies a unique position in democratic governance.
Lumumba, who spoke on the topic, “The Importance of the Legislature in Democratic Governance,” emphasised that the nation or state could survive a bad executive, bad judiciary, but not a bad legislature.
“Beyond your important titles, how are you serving Lagos? How have you served Lagos? What would be said of you when you are gone or even as you are alive?
“Those who acquire power must exercise it with humility. Before you drink the gin of political power, you must have a foundation of integrity,” he said.
The scholar said that the democracy being practised in Nigeria was not home-grown, and was Euro-centric.
He said that the nation’s democracy could be customised to achieve the aspirations of the country.
Lumumba said that the relationship among the legislative, executive and the judiciary must be symbiotic.
According to him, the legislature represents the people and it is a privilege to honour and represent the people.
“Those, who steal public funds abuse the power given to them by the people. The legislature is the heart of the people.
“On a mere allegation of corruption, the legislature brought down the government of South Korea and the same thing happened in Brazil.
“But here in Nigeria and Africa, does the legislature bring thieves down? If Nigeria is to be great, you legislators must make solemn vow that you would make laws that would benefit the people,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, said that the Assembly had contributed so much to the much-touted success of Lagos with so many things to showcase.
Obasa, who called for the strengthening of institutions, urged Nigerians to respect institutions and advised public office holders to be disciplined, selfless and above board.(NAN)