NED NWOKO EXPLAINS WHY NIGERIA MUST RETURN TO PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, GIVES REASONS WHY LAWMAKERS SHOULD NOT BE CONTRACTORS
Prince Ned Nwoko, a former member of the House of Representatives between 1999 to 2003, representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, and the present Delta North People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial candidate, has stated that it is best Nigeria returns to parliamentary system of government, stressing that presidential system encourages waste of resources.
The experienced lawyer who has travelled the world and gained numerous experiences in governance, aired his views about the government system while speaking to journalists in his country home in Idumuje Ugboko, Delta state.
Nwoko stated that Nigeria system needs restructuring and parliamentary system is the best for the nation. He pointed out that the state government is too far from the people and also, too expensive to run.
The senatorial candidate stated that the parliamentary system is more advantageous and best for the country because it operates closely with the people and promotes faster and quicker decision making, and also less expensive to run compared to the presidential system.
Pointing out the drawbacks of presidential system, Nwoko said, “The system encourages waste of resources. Just imagine the corruption that occasioned the nomination of presidential candidate. Imagine having everybody in Abuja for a weekend just to elect a presidential candidate. The system does not only encourage bribery but also causes inflation. Why go through all that, when the cost of election can be so minimal if we adopt the parliamentary system?”
He said that in parliamentary system, each geographical zones will have a member of parliament (MP), representing them in the parliament of the people. Which means, they will work directly with the locals and project funds will be well accounted for because they won’t have to go through numerous offices.
Nwoko also added that it is easier for a country to fight insecurity in a parliamentary system than presidential system.
He said, “It is easier to apply for a gun licence in parliamentary system. We must address our minds to security issues. The reason why bandits think they can just walk into your space and do whatever they like is because they know that you’re not armed. But if they know everyone is armed, they will definitely have a second thought before intruding. Everybody is entitled to self defence. I had a bill on this when I was a member of House of Representatives, between 1999 to 2003, and I won’t be quiet on this until it is achieved.”
Speaking on the issue of representatives also working as project contractors, the daring politician said that, when Nigeria finally goes back to parliamentary system, there will not be room for such anomalies.
“We will find a way to make it impossible for members to remain as contractors. We must avoid that by all means, so that if you are elected into any office, you just have to mind the activities in that office. If there is any evidence that you have done something wrong, using a ponzi company, you will be sacked and there would be penalty for it,” he said.
Nwoko noted that the reason the Asaba-Lagos double lane road has lasted this long was because he used a good contractor to execute the project, when he was in the House of Representatives, in 1999 to 2003.
In his words, “When I was pushing for the double lane construction of the Asaba-Lagos Expressway, then, when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was the president, he thought it won’t be possible or achievable as at then. Obasanjo told me that he has not done the road to Ota, and Anthony Anenih, Minister of Works then, has not done the road to Uromi. Getting the president to approve the project was not easy because he thought it won’t be possible.
“He finally approved the project and the road was done without me even having to know who the contractor was. I did not nominate the contractor. All I just wanted was for the road to be properly done, and that is why it has lasted all these years.
“Now, going back to senate, I must make sure this road resurfaces again, with at least 10 service stations on both sides of the road. Those tankers and trailers that park by the roadsides, causing accidents and traffic jam must be parked inside the service stations.
“The service stations will have petrol stations, emergency clinics, police posts, supermarkets and of course motels for drivers and travelers to sleep over,” he said.