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Itse Sagay Warns Of Implications Of Parliamentary System

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Itse Sagay Warns Of Implications Of Parliamentary System

Prof. Itse Sagay, a Senior Advocate Of Nigeria believes legislators pushing for a parliamentary system of government are engaging in wasteful diversion of time and resources.

He said:

“Once again Nigerians (this time unemployed legislators) have found a new favorite subject for debate and wasteful diversion of time and resources. Suddenly, Parliamentary System of Government is the holy grail for Nigerian political salvation. For days now, the media, both orthodox and social have become fiercely engaged in pursuing a new political chimera with excitement and apparent seriousness.

Let it be made clear, the whole idea of one system being better than the other is “poppycock”, time wasting, arising from either ignorance or mischief. The mischief here is to have a Buhari with reduced powers.

In 1963, when I was an undergraduate at the University of Ife, the Students’ Union invited Chief Rotimi Williams, soon after he left office as Attorney-General of the Western Region, to address the Students’ Body on which system was preferable for Nigeria: Parliamentary or Presidential? I have never forgotten his answer. Briefly summarized, it was that neither of the two systems was better than the other. The success of Governance depended on the quality of the operators of government. Bad operators, i.e., bad politicians and “leaders” would always produce bad and failed governance. In other words, the fault was not in the system of governance, but in the quality of the operators of the system.

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We were operating this suddenly “golden” parliamentary system then. It led to a declaration of a state of emergency in the Western Region, restriction and detention of major political figures, crisis and violence, and the fall of the first Republic. The fault dear Nigerians was not in that system, but in the irresponsible and reckless manner in which First Republic politicians conducted themselves.

It is even more foolish to think that the introduction of the parliamentary system will weaken the Buhari Government and empower the opposition. On the contrary, the Prime Minister under a Parliamentary System is far more powerful than a President under the Presidential system. The Prime Minister combines the positions of Leader of Parliament and Head of Government. He does not need the confirmation of parliament to appoint Ministers. It is his sole prerogative. If a vote of no confidence against him succeeds, he can dissolve parliament, and compel his critics and foes to face a fresh election in which they might not be returned. In other words, a Prime Minister is President and Speaker of the House of Representatives rolled into one. Never mind the fact that the British Parliament has someone designated “Speaker”. All he does is to recognize House members who wish to speak. The Prime Minister must be recognized above every other person as soon as he or she rises up to speak. The Speaker has no discretion in that regard. It is the British Prime Minister who exercises all the powers currently enjoyed by the Nigerian speaker. The House of Lords (Senate) is simply a decoration intended to give the aristocracy and retired elder statesmen a false sense of importance and relevance.

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The Prime Minister is effectively, National President, Speaker, and President of the Senate, rolled into one. To bring home the message clearly, there will be no “Saraki”, no “Dogara”- in that system. Buhari will bestride the Nigerian World, under the parliamentary system being proposed.

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The Senate and its President in such a system is an impotent and relatively unimportant body. It can delay, but cannot hold-up legislation. In fact, its opposition to any bill can be overridden by the House under the leadership of the Prime Minister.

So those calling for the re-introduction of the Parliamentary system in the mistaken belief that it will result in a weak Executive Branch should think again. They are foolishly asking for a system in which a powerful Prime Minister will control both the Legislative and the Executive Arms of Government. My advice to them is: ”Beware of what you wish for yourselves”.

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Aigbogun Submits Final List Of Players For U-20 AFCON

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Aigbogun Submits Final List Of Players For AFCON U-20

Flying Eagles Head Coach, Paul Aigbogun, has submitted to the Nigeria Football Federation the final list of twenty players for the 2019 Africa U-20 cup of nations.

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The team says it has put behind it the disappointment felt from the cancellation of the international friendly with Saudi Arabia U-20 squad. But organizers have promised that the game would still hold after the U-20 AFCON finals.

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NRA Threatens To Withdraw Members From NPFL Over Attacks On Referees

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NRA Threatens To Withdraw Members From NPFL Over Attack On Referees

The Nigeria Referees Association has threatened to withdraw its members from the Nigeria Professional Football League because of repeated attacks on league referees.

Referee Sam Agba was assaulted by Plateau United fans in Jos and on Sunday, some match officials were attacked by fans of Remo Stars in Sagamu.

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Nigeria Referees Association Publicity Secretary, Kelechi Mejuonbi says the association is waiting for the decision of the league management on the incident.

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Afe Babalola Calls For Unified Examination For Universities Graduands

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Afe Babalola Calls For Unified Examination For Universities Graduating Students

Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, a legal luminary, has called for the adoption of a unified examination system for final year students in every course in Nigerian universities.

The legal icon said this is the way to bring about quality education in the country to discourage what he called “the culture of laziness” in the system.

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Babalola made the call while speaking at the tenth matriculation ceremony and award conferment on alumni of Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti.

At the twin events, Ekpo Naomi, best graduating student ever produced by the university since its inception in 2010, was awarded half a million naira.

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Babalola said if the Nigerian Universities Commission and the Ministry of Education adopt the idea of unified examinations to all final year students, every university would strive harder to ensure its students pass the national examinations.  He said this will result in high standards in teaching and learning.

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