From Tony Osauzo, Benin

A Benin based group, God and People Prayer Parliament, has advocated for restructuring Nigeria to eight regional parliamentary system of government.

National Chairman of the group, Dr. Dele Oluwatade, while presenting the group’s proposal at the weekend in Benin City, explained that in the proposed arrangement, President Bola Tinubu would transmutate to a Prime Minister as Head of Premiers of eight regions to birth a new stable Nigeria Federation.

The group, therefore, appealed to the President and the National Assembly to hasten provision of structures for the debate of restructuring the country to commence.

The group noted that at independence, there were very significant intentional democratic mistakes/omissions in the
parliamentary system of the first republic which led to its failure. It listed the omissions as absence of provision for a referendum clause, lack of provision for an exit clause from the federal union and the missing third clause: the definition of the territorial integrity of the federating regions in the Constitution of the country at the time.

“The absence of necessary democracy stabilizers led to the mismanagement of the “crisis in the West”. It was a regional internal affair that would have resolved the issue without declaring a state of emergency which whirlwinded to where we are today. Therefore for stable polity in Nigeria, there must be at least five democratic provisions in the
constitution”, Dr. Oluwatade said.

He listed the five clauses as Referendum CLAUSE for the public opinion/ decision on critical issues. Secession or Exit Clause to enable any region to withdraw seamlessly from the federation, Regional Integrity Clause, Expulsion Clause and Intervention Clause.

Dr. Oluwatade described Presidential system of government as “a drain Pipe Democracy” and the cause of the bottomless fiscal corruption in the country, saying that a non productive country has no business running such an expensive system of government, even as he stated that the advantages of Parliamentary system practice is closest to the definition of democracy.

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“There is minimum courtroom appearance and the political processes of election are inexpensive, fair and smoother compared to the money bags, slave trading ballot buying, ballot box snatching presidential election.

“The second advantage of parliamentary system now is that Separatist agitations will calm down to embrace the new dawn, and join hands and hearts together to build their respective new Regions.

“All marauding terrorists will stop or relocate to their Regions as there will be no more cover, as each region will tackle its security problems headlong without external interference.

“Unification of splitted Ethnic Nationalities for cultural harmony and freedom from oppression. This is a major benefit of restructuring.

“Another advantage of restructuring is restoration and preservation of minority ethnic Nationalities of Nigeria, because they will be free from presidency cabals or an autocratic president, ambitious and predatory colonist nationalities disturbing others, It becomes necessary to adopt parliamentary system to secure all nationalities in Nigeria, or it might lead to a state of anarchy, and only God knows what will remain of Nigeria”.

Dr. Oluwatade further stated that Parliamentary system promotes peaceful polity as regional government helps politicians to work together in a more peaceful political climate compared to the presidential system.

The armed forces and police, he said, will experience a new lease of life as they will now focus on the professional duties and have their lost respect and professional dignity restored.