COVID-19: Soyinka faults Buhari lockdown of states as ‘political virus’

By Amara Christa

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has described movement restriction imposed on two states of the federation by President Muhammadu Buhari as “unconstitutional and a political virus for the future.”

Soyinka said this in a statement issued on Monday and titled: “Between COVID-19 and constitutional encroachment.”

The statement, which he signed off as “Wole Soyinka from Self-Quarantine, ” read: “Constitutional lawyers and our elected representatives should kindly step into this and educate us, mere lay minds. The worst development I can conceive of us is to have a situation where rational measures for the containment of the coronavirus pandemic are rejected on account of their questionable genesis.

This is a time for unity of purpose, not nitpicking dissensions. 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. Appropriately focussed on measures for the saving lives, and committed to making sacrifices for the preservation of our communities, we should nonetheless remain alert to any encroachment on constitutionally demarcated powers.

“We need to exercise collective vigilance, and not compromise the future by submitting to interventions that are not backed by law and constitution.

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