From Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Former interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, has upbraided President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential system of government which, he lamented, has been largely responsible for the plethora of crises bedevilling the country.
This, he said, occasioned the herdsmen and other killings in Benue, Taraba, Rivers and other states of the federation.
The former governor of Osun State stated this yesterday in his Ila country home during a media parley as a part of activities marking his 79th birthday.
He said the good intentions of President Buhari for the nation “would remain mere dreams inasmuch as the expensive and largely unaccountable presidential system of government remained in place.”
Akande said with the current presidential system of government, Buhari remains helpless and would continue to run an “unworkable government.”
He insisted that for the president to be able to run an effective government, the country must embrace the multi-party parliamentary democracy, through which it would be able to overcome the myriads of problems facing it.
“With independent political party arrangements, devoid of regimentation by legislation, multi-party parliamentary democracy can make Nigeria great too. Democracy, the type being practised in the UK, India, Canada and Australia for many centuries, and Israel since 1948 has become the culture of the people in those climes. Anything less cannot be good for Nigeria.”
Akande admitted that as his very good friend, he had advised Buhari on how to tackle herdsmen’s attack in the country.
He said the police has to be decentralised because as chief security officer in the presidential system, even if a governor gives an instruction to a police officer, he would still maintain loyalty to his boss.
He suggested a multi-party parliamentary democracy which, he said, would address the challenges facing the country.
Akande said as a member of Constituent Assembly that drew the 1979 Constitution, he voted for parliamentary system of government, but lamented that many members of the assembly voted in support of the presidential system.
“In Nigeria’s presidential system of government, lawmakers are elected on party platforms, but as soon as they get to the parliament, the party on which platform they get the opportunity becomes less important.”
Stressing the workability of the parliamentary system, Akande went down memory lane: “As a governor in 1999, my administration worked with a parliament that has 26 members all voted in on the platform of my party. Despite this, the Assembly decided not to support the programmes of the party that gave them the opportunity.
“They served me impeachment notice. On the day the motion was moved, 24 members, all from my party, voted in support of my removal, one voted against it, but the speaker did not vote. I was given 21 days.
“On the day they sat again on the matter, 13 said no to my impeachment and 12 said I should be removed, but the speaker did not vote.
“The same party that produced the lawmakers also produced me as governor. I believe, even if an angel was sent to administer this kind of unworkable system he would fail,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state House of Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker Najeem Salam has congratulated Chief Akande on his 79th birthday.
The House described Akande as a foremost nationalist who has attained several political offices.