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Ex-lawmakers affirm support for Nigeria’s return to parliamentary system

Following the proposal by a group of 60 federal lawmakers to amend the 1999 constitution for a departure from the presidential system of government to the parliamentary system of government, two former federal lawmakers, Femi Okurounmu and Tajudeen Yusuf have indicated support for the proposal, saying that the current presidential system is not working.

In an interview with newsmen on Friday, Okurounmu said “I agree that we should go back to the parliamentary system. That is what we were operating between 1960 and the military intervention in 1966.

“The parliamentary system is cheaper, more effective and more accountable than the presidential system. To begin with, the presidential system breeds and promotes corruption,” said Senator Okurounmu who represented Ogun Central at the Senate from 1999 to 2003.

Yusuf, who represented Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu at the green chamber between 2011 and 2019, said, “The major reason why people are clamouring for this (parliamentary system) is that what we have now is not delivering.

“Ghana has a unique democracy, they have a parliamentary president. The president is elected in a general election but the parliament is part of the government, you have ministers serving in the government as members of the parliament.

“First of all, there is this argument which I want to concur with, that it reduces the cost of government, that it breaches the gap for citizens to reach out to people in government. I am of the opinion that it should be discussed, debated and let Nigerians make a decision.”

The two ex-lawmakers also expressed their support for the establishment of state police to fight insecurity, saying that it is long overdue.

The bill calling for a return to the parliamentary system titled, ‘The Bills Proposing Constitutional Alterations For a Transition To Parliamentary System of Government,’ was sponsored by the House Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda, and 59 others.

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