Ango Abdullahi Backs Reps on Parliamentary Govt, Says Presidential System Expensive, Not Suitable

Posted by Timige, On 24 Feb, 2024 | Updated On 24 Feb, 2024 No Comments »

The Parliamentary System bills sponsored by 60 members of the House of Representatives have continued to receive support from prominent Nigerians, as former Vice Chancellor of Ahmmadu Bello University and Convener of Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, has endorsed the call for a return to Parliamentary System of Government.

Abdullahi, a professor of Agriculture, gave his endorsement when some House of Representatives members who co-sponsored the parliamentary bills, led by Hon. Abdussamad Dasuki and Hon. Wale Raji? visited him at his residence in Abuja.

The octogenarian commended the efforts of the lawmakers and expressed his support for their legislative action to return Nigeria to parliamentary system of government.

Going down memory lane, Prof Abdullahi said the military teleguided the Constituent Assembly of 1976/77 to adopt either a French or American Presidential system of government, adding that since 1976 he has not given up on the Parliamentary System of Government because it engenders accountability and quality leadership.

Noting that the parliamentary system of the First Republic worked but was truncated by military intervention in 1966, Professor Abdullahi said the  presidential system of government had failed to yield desired results over the past 24 years.

He said: “If you are talking of failure of the system, it’s totally unfair to say that the parliamentary system failed in Nigeria. It has not. Only that it has not been given sufficient time.

“So, my personal position is that I’m 100 per cent against the presidential system of government, it’s an unsuitable system not only for Nigeria but any country that is in this reckless, greedy Western world. Because the democracy the Western world is trying to force down the throat of every nation in the world is to serve their interest. And check honestly, academically, materially and so on, see what happened since 1960 till date.

“For me, if I’m going to react to your visit, I’ll react in two ways. The first level is my own personal conviction. I’m a product of the First Republic and I cherished being that product, as a teacher who marks exams from A1 to failure, I’ll mark the pioneer leaders as A1, up to the present leadership F10.

“So when the military came and insisted that we should abandon what was kicked out in 1966, I think was the first major mistake this country ran into up till now.”

He maintained that the “Presidential system is not a suitable system. This is my personal opinion.

“For 24 years now, you just show me where the presidential system succeeds in terms of moving Nigeria forward? A country with 200 million that is generating 4000 megawatts of electricity. 4000 megawatt not enough for a big house in Europe?”

Hon. Wale Raji (Lagos State), earlier in his remarks, said the cost of governance and electioneering  under the Presidential System of Government was higher than the Parliamentary System of Government.

Hon Raji said the Presidential System of Government “is quite expensive for our economic situation and it has hinders the desired economic development that the country deserves. And we also discovered that it’s too cumbersome and it has not really led us to derive the benefit of true democracy unlike what is obtained in the parliamentary system of government where the cost of governance is reduced.
“The government is closer to the people and accountable. We are all aware of the fact that the Prime Minister is from the Parliament and there’s regular interaction and it promotes accountability and the cost of running our elections, if you look at it since 1999, how much the presidential election, apart from the individuals running for the position, cost the country.  But under the parliamentary that will be drastically reduced.”

He assured that the Parliamentary system of government being advocated will be a homegrown system with Nigerian content for suitability.

He disclosed that the delegation had earlier interacted with Alhaji Dantata who was a member of the First Republic Parliament, as well as Chief Bisi Akande who pledged their support.

Also speaking,  Hon. Abdulsamad Dasuki (Sokoto State) said the proposed transition from Presidential to Parliamentary system of government would be implemented in phases.

Hon. Dasuki said: “Part of our proposals, we have one bill for Local Government, one for the State, and one for Federal. And in one of our proposals, by God’s grace, in the year 2027, we would like to kickstart with full autonomy and implementation of Local Government itself, so that we can be well-guided. That was why you must have heard in the papers the commencement date.

“Our target was we can learn from implementing in phases. The first phase is with INEC, which even if it’s not from these particular sponsors, but a colleague of ours has sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives and has passed the Second Reading which said we should have only one election in Nigeria instead of two elections. And I think that bill was unanimously passed in the House. It’s part of the things we are looking at moving forward.

“Like he said, we are here to learn, what we are trying to do for Nigeria is to build Nigeria for Nigerians looking at our peculiarities.”

Source: This Day

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