Gowon Meets Advocates of Parliamentary System, Seeks Political Structure that Fits Present Realities, Culture, Tradition

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Former Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon, has called for a new political system that takes into cognisance Nigerian culture and tradition.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo made a similar call penultimate week, calling for a home grown system of government he called “Afro-cracy”.

Gowon, who expressed support for the President Bola Tinubu-led federal government, said in the quest to embrace democratic rule, the country adopted the presidential system of government with components that created high cost of governance.

Gowon spoke while receiving a delegation of the Hon Kingsley Chinda-led parliamentary caucus campaigning for a return to parliamentary system of government as a result of the high cost of governance associated with the present system, and the need for a responsive and responsible system of government,  at the Yakubu Gowon Center in Abuja.

“I believe in democracy. All my actions as a soldier supported democracy. I initiated policies that reduced high cost of governance.

“As you rightly pointed out, presidential system of government didn’t consider our culture and tradition because we wanted democracy”, he said.

He said the country had witnessed restructuring several times hence efforts made to ensure that agitations made for such exercise did not lead to a break up of the country.

“Any other restructuring to make the country better, I am all for it. Do you believe in your country or not? If you do not believe in your country then nothing you do will work.

“If we have a problem, we have to solve it together. The American presidential system we borrowed, we swallowed hook, line and sinker”, he said.

He, however, warned that a return to   parliamentary system devoid of the culture and tradition of the country would be retrogressive.

“Yes, we need a change but remember if you go back to regionalism, the time has passed”, he advised.

The Hon Kingsley Chinda-led group had listed the high cost of governance associated with the presidential system of government, the need for a responsive and responsible government system as the rationale behind the drive to change the system of government.

Earlier in his remarks, Hon Kingsley Chinda said the group was concerned about the shortcomings of the presidential system of government hence the decision to tap from wealth of knowledge of the former leader.

“If a lawmaker is both minister and in parliament, the cost of governance in that area will be reduced”, he said.

In his remarks, Hon Abdussamad Dasuki said a significant change in the system was required.

He lamented that in spite of several changes to the constitution, “nothing has changed”.

Other lawmakers present at the meeting are Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, Hon. Blessing Amadi, Hon. Kwamoti Laori, among others.

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