The torrents of discontent pouring out since the promulgation of Executive Order 6, last week, have been ceaseless and searing. Perhaps, the authors of the law neither imagined for once how fierce and scathing the reactions of Nigerians would be, nor saw through their prisms the audacity of the aggrieved elements to challenge the government in court as soon as it birthed.
The forces of opposition flexing their muscles against the government over the new law are as ferocious as the pain, which the government’s action is expected to inflict on those restricted from travelling from the shores of Nigeria on their own terms. And, this has effectively drawn a battle line between the administration and its foes. It is obvious from the look of things that the furore, which the government sees as a mere distraction, is not likely to thaw in the shortest possible time.
Those opposed to the travel ban, which has so far not specified any Nigerian name to be restricted and when, are up in arms against the government and their voices have been heard loud and clear from within and without Nigeria. Activist lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, riled Buhari for even contemplating the new order, describing it as vitriol against the people of Nigeria and a strident attempt by the administration to usurp the powers of the courts.
According to Vanguard, The Constitutional lawyer said, “The ban is high-handed, obnoxious, barbaric, pristine, capricious, whimsical and arbitrary as it violently erodes hallowed fundamental rights that are inalienable and God-given. It seeks to strike terror and fear in the minds of Nigerians, especially the opposition and critical voices.
It usurps the functions of a court of law and the NASS that has already promulgated the EFCC, ICPC and Money Laundering Acts, all of which allow for interim forfeiture and attachment of citizens’ money and properties, but with an ORDER of a court of law”. Adding a voice to the cacophony of voices raging against the Buhari administration, another critic and human rights activist, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, said it was unconstitutional for a democratic government to restrain a citizen from his right to free movement without an order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Accoring to him, “it is my opinion therefore that the present attempt by the Executive to circumscribe the rights to free movement by certain citizens of Nigeria must of necessity go the way of the Executive Order 06.