It is common knowledge that Mallam Nasir El Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State has been nursing presidential ambition for years. As he can no longer wait to become President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces in 2023 under the All Progressive Congress party Governor El Rufai has hijacked the powers exclusively vested in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Constitution. In  the.course of usurping and exercising presidential powers the Governor El Rufai has ignored court decisions on the limit of the jurisdiction of State Governments. 

Following the general strike embarked upon by the workers of Kaduna State from May 19-21 this year, Governor El Rufai threatened to prosecute Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress and other labour leaders under the Miscellaneous Provisions Act, a federal enactment. 

Even though trade dispute is in the exclusive legislative list Governor El Rufai proceeded to institute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe the May 2021 general strike that occurred in Kaduna State.  One of the terms of reference of the Commission is the recommendation of the prosecution of any one who broke the law during the strike.  The recommendation is to empower the State Government to prosecute labour leaders for economic sabotage. However, the NLC has secured an injunction from the National Industrial Court which has restrained the Commission from embarking on the probe as section 254 of the Constitution has conferred exclusive jurisdiction on the Court to hear and determine matters pertaining to trade disputes. 

Another area where Governor El Rufai has usurped the powers of the Federal Government is his ill advised prosecution of the Shiite leader, Ibrahim Elzakzaky and his wife. Not satisfied with the order of the Kaduna State High Court which discharged and acquitted the couple Governor El Rufai has since caused a charge of terrorism filed against them at the Federal High Court.  

Since the Attorney-General of Kaduna State is unable to prevent  Governor El Rufai from usurping the powers of the Federal Government his colleagues in the Nigeria Governors Forum should advise him on the limit of his powers under  the current constitutional dispensation.  The Governor should be made to wait till 2023 when he takes over the presidency of Nigeria before exercising presidential powers. However, the Nigerian people will not be  fooled once again to allow Governor El Rufai to become the President of Nigeria.  A Governor who cannot protect the lives of people of Kaduna State cannot be saddled with the responsibility to protect the lives of 200 million people in Nigeria. 
Ahmed Hassan

Source saharareporters

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