New Telegraph

Ooni Backs Call To Return To Parliamentary System Of Govt

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has expressed his support for the push by 60 members of the House of Representatives seeking the return of Nigeria to a parliamentary system of government.

He made his position known while addressing a delegation of lawmakers led by the House Minority Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda and Rep. Abdulsamad Dasuki who visited him in Abuja weekend.

The lawmakers visited the monarch to solicit his counsel, blessings and support for the three proposed bills which seek to restructure elections at local, state and federal levels.

The bills are: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1115); Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1116) and; Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1117).

Oba Ogunwusi commended the lawmakers saying that there was the need to create healthy competition among the six geopolitical zones in the country.

He added that the parliamentary system would effectively unlock and harness the country’s huge natural and human resources for effective development.

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He described the current presidential system as accidental, regretting that the parliamentary system of government practised after the independence was shortlived because of military incursion which toppled democracy.

The monarch said, “It’s a mistake of the past that people are saying it’s the northern people that are holding it, they want to. It’s a lie, if the people see data of what is in the north now, I am very very sure they would be the ones that will say let us do that thing now.

“Some people call it restructuring, some people call it true federalism, some people call it devolution of powers, all in all, it is the same thing.

“The white elephant, we don’t want to talk about it. It has got to the time unless we want another problem for us in this country. We have got to the wall but you have made a name for yourselves”.

Speaking earlier, Rep. Chinda expressed grave concerns that there are many challenges facing the country.

He noted that the ongoing consultations were aimed at getting the buy-in of critical stakeholders and actors in the Nigerian project to support their cause of pushing for the return of the country to the Parliamentary system.

He said, “If we try the local government system and it works, we graduate to the stage, where members from the state assembly among themselves elect a governor.

“If that works, while that is happening we are looking at the faults, the problems, the loopholes and we keep making consequential amendments to our law before we get to the national level.

“So, that’s why we are looking at 2031 for the presidential, then we would have tried the local government, we would have tried the state and then before we come to presidential. If there’s a need and Nigerians think that look, we need to put A, B, C in place, we will have time to do all that.

“But your Majesty, what we have come as I’ve said earlier is to seek your consent, seek your blessings, seek your advice and tap from your wealth of knowledge”.

On his part, Rep. Abdulsamad Dasuki expressed optimism that the move towards a parliamentary system of government would help to address various concerns raised by all Nigerians.

Recall that the lawmakers had earlier visited the northern elder stateman, Professor Ango Abdullahi, and the leadership of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) who also supported the move.

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