Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), has said that President Muhammadu Buhari acted in order by imposing a lockdown on Lagos, FCT and Ogun.
Reacting to a senior lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa’s criticism of President Buhari ‘s order, Lukman, in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, said that the lockdown of the cities was the right decision as human survival was at stake.
He recalled that immediately the President announced the lockdown of the cities on Sunday, some legal experts and activists argued that the “Presidential Order was not enforceable without legal backing”.
“After Buhari announced the lockdown of the three cities among other measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus, Adegborua argued that the President was required to invoke his powers under the Constitution to declare state of emergency, which must be approved by the National Assembly.
“Mr Adegboruwa’s position was endorsed by many activist lawyers, including Femi Falana, SAN, who argued that the Presidential Order not enforceable without legal backing,” the forum’s director-general recalled.
According to him, the argument against the lockdown as declared by the President is on account of the lack of recognition of the emergency timeline which Covid-19 has imposed on the world.
“Leaders across the world are struggling to respond to this new timeline. Largely because it is a challenge that border on saving human life, citizens are required to work in partnership with governments.
“The government’s decision to lockdown these cities tends to focus attention on the moment of emergency and not on the afterlife of survival.
“It also tends to make us feel like everything is justifiable and there can be no cause for regret when our survival is at stake,” he said.
Lukman, who said that the legality of decisions of government to lockdown these three cities with the highest potential to spread Covid-19 virus to every part of the country may only serve to distract the attention of government from the critical issue of ensuring effective response to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“Rather that asking the question whether locking down Abuja, Lagos and Abeokuta is sufficient to contain the spread of Covid-19, we are seeking to undermine the government.
“Good enough, our state governments are responding in a way that expand the jurisdiction of the lockdown to cover virtually all parts of the country.”