The member of House of Representatives representing Surulere 1 federal constituency, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed the need to modify the nation’s presidential system of government and customise it to suit the peculiarity of the country as a multi-ethnic country.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this while delivering a special lecture at the Osun State House of Assembly in Osogbo where the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola was honoured with Honourary Life Membership of the Assembly.
Speaking on the theme: “Sustainability of presidential system in a multi-ethnic democracy,” he said there is need for re-engineering of the democratic system in the country in such manner that power would not concentrate too much at the centre.
He said Nigeria does not need to jettison the presidential system but modify and customise it to be suitable for the nation, adding that some sections of the constitution should be amended for that purpose.
Gbajabiamila said: “I believe that if the Presidential system is modified to fit into our peculiarities and if practiced within the context of federal system, can work well in Nigeria. There must be some modifications particularly by devolving powers to the regions and the states.
“Nigeria democracy has experienced a very rough history arising from several military coups leading to many years of military rules and the civil war of 1967 to 1970.
“These together with ethnic sentiments, tribalism, religion fanaticism, insecurity and greed by some politicians have hindered our democratic growth. In democracy, power belongs to people, but, in Nigeria’s democracy, power has been taking away from the people leading to distrust, inter-ethnicity rivalry, disagreement and conflicts, power tussle and the quest for secession.
“I stand on that side of the divide that believes we do not need to jettison the Presidential system wholesale but that we should look at the merits and demerits and come up with a customized Presidential system of government for our great country.”
Also speaking at the event, the Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Honorable Najeemdeen Salaam said the legislature resolved to honour Aregbesola for his excellent performance adding that the honour will give the governor a sense of belonging in the Assembly.
He urged the governor to reciprocate the gesture by rededicating himself and be more committed to the good of the people.
“The governor has done well and projected the Assembly as very significant. He has been doing his best for the state and must be appreciated. Aregbesola is a fulfilled man and symbol of courage in the fold of progressive,” Salaam said.
The Majority Leader in the Osun State House of Assembly, Honourable Timothy Owoeye representing Ilesa East state constituency moved the motion for the conferment of the life honorary member of the House of Assembly on the governor, which was seconded by the Minority Leader, Honourable Akinwale Akiwole representing Ife East.
The speaker then ruled that Aregbesola has become the 27th member of the Assembly as a life member. He allocated a seat to the governor and the governor moved to the seat and occupied it immediately.
The speaker said Governor Aregbesola could not vote in the House but he could participate in proceedings and deliberations on the floor of the Assembly.
Chief Bisi Akande prayed for Aregbesola to have good Health and resources to complete his projects. He also lauded the Assembly for honouring Aregbesola.
In his maiden address as a member of the Assembly, Aregbesola said his first desire was to be a parliamentarian and that he was happy to have fulfilled his dream through the Assembly.
“I’m an irredeemable parliamentarian and I thank the Osun legislators for the honour. I was born on 25th of May 1957 at a traditional birth attendant and I thank you for celebration my birthday with me this way,” Aregbesola said.
Aregbesola called for probe of those involved in the plot to overthrow Nigerian government and urged Nigerians to condemn and warn against any coup attempt.
In his motion for the probe of the claim on the allegation that politicians are putting pressure on the military to stage a coup in the country, Aregbesola said those behind the plot must be investigated.
Aregbesola said the House must pass a resolution commending the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, for his thorough professionalism and belief in the current democracy.
The event was attended by the crème de la crème of the society including the Deputy Governor, Chief Titilayo Laoye Tomiri, the pioneer Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, members of the National Assembly and legislators from some South-West states.