Connect with us


Shettima, Fashola kick against calls for regional govt, parliamentry system 



Shettima, Fashola kick against calls for regional govt, parliamentry system 

Kashim Shettima, the Vice President, and Babatunde Fashola, the former Lagos state governor, on Saturday, opposed the call for a return to regionalism and parliamentary system of government being championed in some quarters.

A draft document seeking a wholesale return of the country to a regional structure, with parliamentry system of government, and two six-year terms for prime ministers, had surfaced on social media, triggering hot debate on social media, with many backing the proposal.

Dr. Akin Fapohunda, the drafter, told Business Hallmark on Saturday that he’s planning to present it to his representatives at the national assembly, who will then present same on the floor, noting that the idea is to initiate conversations around the topic.

“Part of the reason is to stimulate the thinking of Nigerians about the way forward. What you have is just a draft. It is not the final document,” he noted.

“It has to get to the National Assembly first. I believe we have to evoke the doctrine of necessity, because following normal process, you can only amend the 1999 constitution. But an amendment will not get us anywhere at all. We have to do a wholesale change to a new one.”

However, speaking as a principal guest and guest speaker, respectively, at the 30th anniversary of Yusuf Olaolu Ali (SAN)’s Ghalib Chambers in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, Shettima and Fashola both said that only quality governance would shape the society not the system of government.

They advised those calling for the return of the country to a parliamentary system of government to deeply reflect on whether the reasons that caused its collapse before the First Republic have been taken care of or not.

“Democracy can only survive by adherence to rule of law and quality of governance, not by parliamentary system as being canvassed by some people,” Shettima said.

“Many nations that collapsed did so because of lack of access to truth and justice; their access to justice was frustrated and denied.”

Shettima also claimed that President Bola Tinubu had never used his office to influence the electoral process since he assumed office.

He stated that the president and the Presidency decided to steer clear of the electoral process because of President Tinubu’s belief in political freedom, fair play and justice.

“President Bola Tinubu never influenced the electoral process and we (presidency) never used instruments of office to hunt or hound perceived opponents.”

In his own remarks, Fashola recalled that Nigeria once practised a parliamentary system but failed and led the country into unwarranted disaster.

“Let’s think deeply about why the parliamentary system failed us and; had we overcome those reasons?”

The former minister for works and housing said that rather than calling for a change of the system of government, suggested liberal democracy that would ensure better and improved livelihood of Nigerians.

“Those calling for the system change are instigated by economic reasons, if only they are confident the government would provide their economic need, they wouldn’t chant this clamour for change.


“If there is sincerity of purpose, there will be a better life for all even under the present system of government.

“Those calling for a change of government are the canvassers of restructuring which can be done with constitutional review/amendment of the areas not suitable for us.”

He stated that poor distribution of commonwealth and even development often played a common reason for the call for a change of the system of government.

Fashola, however, blamed the call for a change of system on poor education especially of political history, “if people are not accustomed to how a system works, they will be frustrated and call for its change.

“Why must we go back to the system that once catapulted our country into disaster?” he queried.

He advised that the nation retains the present federal arrangement with calls that excessive cost of governance be reduced, “not outright call for a parliamentary system,” he said.

Fashola commended the celebrant, Yusuf Ali, encouraging that the annual gathering has always rubbed positively on the society, saying: “Ali’s challenge will be the sustenance of the chamber.”

In his welcome address, the founder of Ghalib, Professor Yusuf Ali, appreciated God for what he described as infinite favour and blessings for turning the fortune of the firm beyond calculated expectations.

News continues after this Advertisement
News continues after this Advertisement