Obong Victor Attah
By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, and elder statesman, Obong Victor Attah has advocated for the scrapping of the presidential system and return to a parliamentary system of government in Nigeria.
Obong Attah who spoke yesterday in Uyo while reacting to the ongoing #EndSARS protests by Nigerian youths stressed that the present presidential system of government the country operates was the cause of her failure.
He noted that Nigeria was better off when it operated a parliamentary system of government as the regions were autonomous, and controlled their resources, had their own Police and only contributed to the central government.
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He stressed that the parliamentary system of government allows the people to choose their representatives based on performance and devoid of godfatherism.
His words “The presidential system has become very oppressive. It seems it is in our nature to feel once you win an election, you are a conqueror, so you behave exactly as you please, nobody can talk to you, you don’t have to see anybody and that’s what is happening and we abuse it.
“I read a few days ago, that the North wants Jonathan to come back and complete his tenure. The constitution says yes, you can have two terms, but it is only if the people want you back. It does not mean that once elected, you have two tenures and if you didn’t complete your tenure, you should come back and complete it.
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“That’s why I say we are not mentally prepared for this presidential system. We are not ready, and that’s one of the reasons I say scrap it and go back to the parliamentary system. In the parliamentary system, if you have a good prime minister like Britain had Margaret Thatcher, you can come back four or five times if your people want you back.
“You are a Prime Minister because you are elected from your small enclave and the whole country sees that you are good, and they insist you become prime minister. That system is what suits us now”
The former governor stressed that the problem of Nigeria goes beyond governance, noting that if you bring angels, to operate the system today, it still would fail.
He system said he wants Nigeria to be reborn, adding, ” Let’s give it a new birth, let it become what it was always supposed to be: a federal system and preferably, I say preferably because some people still feel enamoured with this Presidential system, I am not”