Seventy-one Members of the nation’s lower chamber at National Assembly have Kickstart Bill to enthrone Parliamentary System of Government in Nigeria
A bill aimed at amending the 1999 Constitution to achieve the goal was presented on the floor of the House yesterday during a plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
About 71 members of the 360-strong Green Chamber are believed to be backing the bill.
“The economies of nations are known to thrive on the confidence of investors in the system and character of the government. The level of instability and volatility of the presidential system makes it difficult to achieve economic objectives,” Mr Ossai Nicholas Ossai explained.
Speaking on behalf of the members, Ossai, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Public Petition, told reporters after the session that the decentralization of powers in a parliamentary system would douse ethnic and religious tensions in Nigeria.
According to him, “The over-centralisation of government decisions that are prevalent in the presidential system obstructs economic development when compared to the parliamentary or hybrid system.
“The point has also been made that the too powerful nature of the presidential system often leads to greater fluctuations in the economy with a change of office. This was witnessed in Nigeria in 2015 and is currently being experienced as we prepare for the 2019 elections.”
Some members of the House also backed the decision by President Mohammadu Buhari to decline assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Meanwhile, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere has described the decision of the members of the House of Representatives as a welcome development.
Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin; said this in an interview with newsmen in lagos.
According to him “Those members of the House of Representatives are true representatives of the people and history will be very kind to them.
“The presidential system has killed Nigeria, it is too expensive and it is the major source of corruption in Nigeria today.
“If you say you want to become a President under this system, the whole country is your constituency. On Election Day, you will need 119, 973 agents. If you give them N5,000 each, that is N6bn. Where will an honest man get that?
“That is why there is a lot of influence of illicit money in our elections and it will remain so until we go back to the parliamentary system.
“Under a parliamentary system, if you want to be a Prime Minister of Nigeria, you just contest in your constituency and go and negotiate the rest at the parliament.
“If we go back to the parliamentary system, the best of Nigeria will come out. The coming election is already rigged against so many people who have bright ideas but cannot afford the kind of money our electoral system requires.
“So, it is a good move by those federal lawmakers. Even if they don’t win today, we will get there one day. Kudos to them.”