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Osita Okechukwu: Calls For Parliamentary System Of Government, State Police Are Political Grievance Decisions

He said rather, the National Assembly and state executives should lead by example and reduce their budget.

Former Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, has said that the political grievances in Nigeria have caused legislators and executives to call for a parliamentary system of government in Nigeria, as well as the establishment of state police in the country.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, the chieftain of the All-Progressives Congress spoke about the move by 60 members of the Senate who are calling for Nigeria to begin a parliamentary system of government by 2030, as well as the call from several state governors who want to establish state police in their states.

Okechukwu said, “The decision that is going for the state police is political grievance decision, On parliamentary, it’s the same political grievance.”

Concerning the requested parliamentary system of government, Okechukwu said, “If you want to reduce the cost of governance, you can reduce that under presidential system. You just take the National Assembly, you present a bill to Mr President that given the situation we find ourselves where it’s becoming difficult for the poor workers and average Nigerian to find something to eat, we think that at the moment, our salary is too high, we are cutting it. Mr President was advising the executive should also cut theirs. That’s what they owe the country, not the system of governance.”

The former DG then added that even if the lawmakers wanted the parliamentary system to restructure the country, 2023 was too far off, saying,  “We are saying that today, Nigeria is in dire straits, that we call on the National Assembly, instead of postponing the day of change of system of government, to buckle up the political will to reduce the budget of the National Assembly, the budget of the Executives. If you do so, the Nigerian states will fill in, because the example must come from the centre and go down the line. But if you’re working in a system where the governors are not accountable, where the local councils are not accountable even as much as the centre, and you’re thinking that it is the system of governance that is the problem, I don’t think so.”

Addressing the people who believe that a parliamentary system of government will work better than the presidential system of government as it worked well in the past, he said, “Because of the hardship in the country, because of the helplessness, the metastasis of grief, we are trying to look backwards, that’s not the issue.”

“Let us look into how to energise Olukayode and others that are anti-corruption agencies and leave them to move. If they could move with velocity, we don’t need any restructuring, we can fix the country,” he said.

Okechukwu then addressed those who were calling for the establishment of state police by saying that it would be better for section 105-109 of the Police Act of 2020 to be implemented for the formation of Special Constabularies.

He said, “My canvas is simply a migration from special constabulary to state police. Migration, a progressive one. One, because there is a paradox on the ground as you well stated. There is intense public paranoia against the Nigerian police force that failed to secure us on one hand. On the other hand, is also intense public paranoia against the state governors, our dear governors, who have scrapped regard for the rule of law. Who had failed to even obey the 1999 constitution as amended.”

Okechukwu then said, “We need to rejig the police force, but still at the same time for us to work on a gradual progression as stipulated in- if you go through that section 105,109 of the police act of 2020, a lot of people have not taken time to go through it. It’s a silver bullet that kills two birds with one stone. It gives leverage to state governors at the local group to manage the constabularies with the Nigeria Police Force without leaving the police in their hand. If you do so, then it is goodbye to Nigerian democracy, that is my fear.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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