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Utomi: Parliamentary Democracy Will Reduce Cost Of Governance in Nigeria, Stop Political Tyrants

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Still unrelenting from his quest for the return to parliamentary democracy, political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, has said the return of Nigeria to parliamentary democracy would help reduce cost of governance and also bring to an end elections of politicians who are tyrants into public office.

Utomi, who stated this in an interview with one of the national television stations, said, “A parliamentary form of government is clearly so much more cost-effective for a democracy than a presidential type of system where you have to run around the entire country.”

He explained that in a parliamentary democracy political leaders who have tendencies of becoming political tyrants would be stopped by the system as the essence of a parliamentary system of government would eliminate them in the process.

According to him, people connect more with the parliamentary system of government than “detached ministers whom somebody brings from nowhere.”

Already in the National Assembly there is a bill seeking a return to the parliamentary system of government.

The bill titled, ‘The Bills Proposing Constitutional Alterations for Transition to Parliamentary System of Government,’ was sponsored by the House Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda, and 59 others.

Although the bill was read on the floor of the House during plenary, it has not progressed since the first reading six weeks ago.

Speaking on the proposed legislation, Utomi said something had fundamentally gone wrong with the leadership philosophy in Nigeria with selfish leaders serving themselves through living opulent lifestyles rather than serving the people.

He noted that with parliamentary democracy, senseless spending by leaders would be a thing of the past.

“First of all, accountability is missing in this current arrangement. It’s so bad. In a parliamentary system, accountability increases.

“The fact that the people are close to the government by the fact that their direct representatives get into parliament, those direct representatives, people among them, lead them and they are constantly referring to the people, the problems and the challenges on a daily basis.

“And if the government is not delivering, the government can fall today and we’ll have a new government tomorrow but here (in presidential system), what you have to do is make people poor and take advantage of poverty, distribute some things to them on election day, in the next four years, nobody asks you any question, you behave like a tyrant, you do anything you like.

“So, accountability is one reason why the parliamentary system is a preferred form of government,” Utomi said.

Chuks Okocha

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