Nigeria cannot recognize Shonekan as former head of state- CACOBAG

The Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance (CACOBAG), has described Nigeria’s continued recognition of Chief Ernest Shonekan as a former Head of State, as an aberration and illegality that must stop.
The group was reacting to a Council of States meeting held on Thursday, which Chief Shonekan was among the past Heads of State that attended.
An official statement issued today by the CACOBAG Chairman, Toyin Raheem queried the capacity at which Chief Shonekan was invited to the meeting, saying such was an aberration promoted by the Federal Government.
According to the group, Chief Shonekan was made the Head of Interim National Government by the government of  Babangida Junta after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election, the most free and fair election ever conducted in the history of Nigeria.
“A court of competent jurisdiction declared the Shonekan-led government illegal and unconstitutional. No building can stand when the whole foundation of the building is to be reconstructed. Invitation of Chief Shonekan and honouring same suggests that collective resources of the country is still being spent on a person that ruled Nigeria illegally. His interim government was declared illegal by the court.
Judge Dolapo Akinsanya of the Federal High court in Lagos in the unique ruling substantiated the fact that the Interim Government was signed into law by General Badamosi Babangida when he had formally “stepped” aside and ceased to be the Head of State,” the group said.
It said Nigeria is not and will never be a banana republic or a jungle where anything goes, adding that the country is governed by provisions clearly spelt out in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered.
Anything outside that, the group noted, is tantamount to promotion of illegality.
“To the best of our knowledge, no other higher court has vacated the order of the Judge that gave the verdict.
“We are by this statement calling on the government of Nigeria to stop forthwith, the invitation and recognition of Chief Shonekan as a past Head of State.
“Spending resources of Nigeria to maintain the head of a government declared illegal is a direct affront on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and flagrant disregard of the suffering of mass of the people,” CACOBAG said.
The group maintained that the resources being  spent on Shonekan, should have been channelled to provide succour to the teeming Nigerian masses that groan on daily basis to get just only “two square or bent or curved meals.”
“The Government should, therefore, put a stop to spending our collective resources on the head of an illegal Government. If this is not stopped, it may encourage former governors sacked by the tribunal and or courts of law to insist on being maintained by the resources of their states as former governors. Will that augur well for us as a country?” the group asked.
CACOBAG threatened to approach the court to determine the eligibility or otherwise of Chief Shonekan to attend Council of States meeting if the government refuses to take appropriate action against his presence at the Council of States meeting.
It sought the collaboration of all Civil Society Organisations in the country to put an end to the what it called, “waste of our resources on the head of an illegal Interim Government while the masses that require attention are neglected.*

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