• Sunday, May 19, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

60 Reps want return to parliamentary system by 2031

Reps reject representatives as Service Chiefs, IGP shun invitation

Sixty lawmakers at the House of Representatives have begun moves to return Nigeria to a parliamentary system by 2031, by amending the 199 constitution.

Abdulsamad Dasuki (PDP-Sokoto), the spokesperson for the group, said this at a news conference at the National Assembly in Abuja on Wednesday. Dasuki said the proposed amendment would significantly impact on the nation’s political landscape.

He added that the lawmakers were advocating a transition from the current presidential system to a parliamentary system at all levels, including federal, state, and local government councils.

“Our founders, in their wisdom and a political atmosphere devoid of compulsion, considered the interests of their native peoples, and their desire to live together led them to adopt the parliamentary system of government.

“They considered a country where truth and justice reign, where no man is oppressed, and where all citizens live in peace and plenty, and adopted the parliamentary system of government,” he said.

He said that the collapse of the First Republic and the long stretch of military rule culminated in the adoption of a new system of government, fashioned after the U.S. Presidential System.

“Over the years, the imperfections of the presidential system of government have become glaring to all, despite several alterations to the constitution to address the shortcomings.

“The system has denied the nation the opportunity to attain its full potential.

“Among these imperfections, are the high cost of governance, leaving fewer resources for crucial areas like infrastructure, education, and healthcare,” he said.

He said that the system had hindered the nation’s developmental progress as it vested excessive powers in the executives, who were appointees and not directly accountable to the people.

“The bills presented today seek a return to the system of government adopted by our founders, which made governance accountable, responsible, responsive, and ultimately less expensive.

“With the presentation of these bills, we hope to ignite and provoke a national conversation about the future of the Nigerian governance system.

“This will also ensure robust public debates, stakeholder consultations, expert analyses, and a thorough and informed decision-making process,” he said.

He stated that it was also to raise awareness about this significant development and encourage constructive dialogue on the potential implications of the proposed constitutional alteration.

Also speaking, Wale Raji (APC-Lagos) said the move was to start a national conversation on the need for a transition from a presidential to a less expensive parliamentary system of government.

“The process may not terminate with the current administration; it may go beyond 2027, but we have set the ball rolling. The actual commencement may be 2031.

“We have initiated a process, and history will record it that a group of lawmakers sought the need to reduce the cost of governance, and if a group of lawmakers scuttles it, history will record it,” he said.