Osoba, Edwin Clark pledge support for Reps' bills on homegrown system of government - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Osoba, Edwin Clark pledge support for Reps' bills on homegrown system of government

...says parliamentary system most economical

The former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba and Leader of the South-South and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark have pledged their  support for the proposed bills seeking to adopt homegrown Parliamentary system of government.

Speaking during the meeting with Chief Clark at his residence, Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda who observed that the Parliamentarians are under pressure to bring the needed changes to governance, argued that the current Presidential system of government is too cumbersome and added little or no value to the country considering its diversity and background.

He maintained that we need an homegrown structure that will put into consideration our background and craft our laws, hence collectively resolved that: "the present style of presidential system that we are running in Nigeria is too cumbersome for our country, for our background, for our experience and cannot in any way be repaired as we stand today."

While maintaining that we need to change our structure slightly and come with a structure that soothes our setting and environment, he noted that with the extant laws, "a Governor, a President can run the state or the country for four years without talking to Nigerians, there's no offence, he has committed no offence against our laws. That is why you will hear the likes of Garba Shehu, Ngelale, talking to Nigerians instead of the Number One Citizen of the country.

"No offence is committed, during COVID all of us were here, other countries were having briefing weekly by their President, our President did not do it, then we have Committees that were talking to Nigerians, and when they goofed, then he will come up to say it was not from us. So, we must have a system where Publix office holders including ourselves that you have elected will be more accountable to you, the people. A system where public office holders will be hands-on, it's not to administer the people by proxy. And all that we have put together."

He said: "Our leader, we came with one agenda and as representatives elected into the House of Representatives of Nigeria to make laws for the good governance of this country, to make law for the peace and progress of this country - Nigeria..

"Our leader, you're aware and will not say away from the fact that our country is not where we all expected it should be., today. We not here to lay blames, we are laos not here to dig deep to issues that perhaps will make great discordant tone. Assignment and our job is to look for solutions to some of these problems.

"As Parliamentarians we have sat, we have brainstormed, we are worried, we are concerned that the pressure is on us and how do we go forward. And one of the things we have seen, yes, management capacity, human factors and all that, and that's why most people say oh, the problem of Nigeria is not the type of politics but the people running the system that is the problem.

"But the truth is that even with the best of people, if you don't have the right structure, it becomes difficult for them to succeed," he stressed.

While noting that the military experience is still rubbing off on the country, Hon. Chinda maintained that there's need to a paradigm shift by way of rejigging the extant laws in a manner that suit our background and diversity for the benefit of all and sundry.

Speaking after a closed door meeting with the Parliamentarians at his Abuja residence, former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba averred that Parliamentary system of government is "most economical, and go after devolution of power. The centre is too loaded. I gave them the example of primary education, primary education is cultural and then you start with your own language.

"How can somebody in Abuja stays here and want to control the primary education in Kanuri, in Sokoto, in Bayelsa, in Ogun State, we are different culture. In the Middle Belt, it is not possible. Take for example, security. Security is very local. When people kidnap, if you meet security local, people who know their terrain will easily know where these terrorists are hiding. We have to devolve power.

"Like they are suggesting, marriage is systemed in a way that should be less cumbersome, less expensive. The cost of governance now is outrageous. I'm very happy to see these dynamic, committed, patriotic young men who believe in the future of this country and who are determined to make the difference. I feel so happy and I thank God that I'm alive to see this day where we have young people who have taken the baton and out objective, they are not after anybody, they are not out to impose their views but they gave come out like the common saying to bell the cat," Chief Osoba noted.

In his address, Chief Edwin Clark who applauded the Parliamentarians' initiative, maintained that: "the restructuring of Nigeria can no longer wait, otherwise there will be no Nigeria."

While noting that the Constitution drawn in London rejected by Nigerians who after the country became a Republic in 1963, collectively "decided to have an homegrown Constitution in 1963.

"Today in your own country, the president is all in all. President can approve the appointment of Mr. B as messenger, President can appoint so so so, everything President in Federal Government's name as if he's the only person, the emperor of this country.

"In 1960 we had a constitution drawn up in London which gives us a Parliamentary system of of government and it was celebrated with funfair. But what happened? Nigerians were not satisfied with that 1960 Constitution.

"When the British have gone leaving Nigerians alone, Nigerians decided to have a homegrown constitution in 1963. The 1963 Constitution was also a Parliamentary system of government that it made room for too many things. The Prime Minister is available at all times in Parliament to answer questions. This was in continuation, it's exist. This existed in the 1963 Constitution," he noted.

He also cited the provisions in the 1963 Constitution which provided that: "The 1963 Constitution says any member, anybody who wants to become Minister in Nigeria must contest election to the Senate and to the House of Representatives, otherwise you can not be a Minister.

Speaking on his campaign for restructuring, Chief Clark who is to clock 96 on Thursday, presented a book titled 'Brutally Frank' to the Minority Leader, in which he devoted a whole chapter on restructuring of Nigeria, adding that "the restructuring of Nigeria can no longer wait, otherwise there will be no Nigeria.

"The present Constitution is a unitary system of government, drawn by the military because of their hierarchy. Now today, the President of Nigeria is the most powerful President in the world. He's the Emperor nobody challenges him.

"Otherwise, the probe being carried out by you on the Ways and Means on the N33 trillion was removed from Nigeria but nobody knows who did it, so you can imagine that we cannot continue with this system."

He maintained that State Governors in Nigeria "have taken over the country without them nothing can happen. And they look at the President as their own principal. There no Governors of the 36 States that does not stay more than two weeks in Abuja."

While urging them to fast-track the process with a view to replace the 1999 Constitution, he noted that the National Constitutional Conference had in 2014 recommended rotation of Governors among the three Senatorial Districts basis across the country.

He added that the Conference also recommended the creation of additional 18 states, including four new states in the South East region and additional three states across other regions and two in the North West region, in the bid to ensure equity and ensure that all the people are adequately represented in the management of their respective States.

While noting that the Parliamentarians are doing a good job, he warned that: "after due consultation with people all over, I spoke with Ayo Adebanjo just now before you came in, many people believed that the present Constitution should not be allowed to continue till 2027, the country will break, there will be no Nigeria. And Wole Soyinka said in the last speech he made that nation will go, but the people will stay."

No comments:

Post a Comment