Nigerian playwright, poet, Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka, better known as Wole Soyinka, has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari over the lockdown of three states in the country.
It could be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, March 29 ordered the lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory for fourteen days over coronavirus.
Soyinka who just completed his 14-days self-isolation Monday (yesterday) following his trip from the United State of America blast the president for locking down the three states.
According to him, Buhari had no constitutional backing to make such declaration, denying the governors from exercising their authorities over their respective states.
The Nobel Laureate in his reaction to the order stated in a statement delivered to newsmen that State Houses of Assembly should determine whether the President acted under the law.
Soyinka suggests that all constitutional lawyers and elected representatives should step into the matter and educate Nigerians on the powers of the President.
He said; “The worst development I can conceive is to have a situation where rational measures for the containment of coronavirus pandemic are rejected on account of their questionable genesis,”
“So, before this becomes a habit, a question: does President Buhari have the powers to close down state borders? We want clear answers. We are not in a war emergency.”
”Despite the focus on saving lives and sacrifices for the preservation of our communities, we should remain alert to any encroachment on constitutionally demarcated powers.”
“A President who has been conspicuously AWOL is now alleged to have woken up after a prolonged siesta, and began to issue orders,” the Playwright said.
“Who instigated these orders anyway? From where do they emerge? What happens when the orders conflict with state measures, the product of a systematic containment strategy – `including even trial-and-error and hiccups – undertaken without let or leave of the centre.”
He added, “So far, the anti-COVID19 measures have proceeded along the rails of decentralised thinking, multilateral collaboration and technical exchanges between states.
“I urge governors and legislators to be especially watchful. No epidemic is ever cured with constitutional piracy. It only lays down new political viruses for the future.”