Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah has advocated a return to the Parliamentary system of government in Nigeria.
He said the presidential system currently practised in the country has failed, as it does not allow the people at the community level feel the impact of government at the centre.
Attah who stated this at the weekend in Uyo during a virtual Public Policy Dialogue, powered by Ricchezza Initiative for Social Empowerment, said the parliamentary system would enable communities directly select and elect people to represent them.
He regretted that the cost of an election in the presidential system has made it difficult for political office holders to do much for the people as they would first satisfy the biddings of their sponsors adding that they assume the votes of the people were not necessary to get them into office.
The former governor also called for a new constitution noting that the parliamentary system would give room for true federalism, where the federating units can take full control of their resources and develop local authorities including security.
He said, “The parliamentary system made it possible for those representing the community to be elected by the community, not the party, not the law court. The people would know who they want. You cannot rig the conscience of the people.
“The cost of the election today is tremendously expensive, making it difficult for public office holders to do what the communities want. They do what the sponsors want. To campaign across the country in the case of presidential elections or for those contesting as governors, you need a lot of money. So the moment you are sworn into office, you focus on your sponsors”.
Throwing light on how he laid the foundation that brought Akwa Ibom to its level, Attah recalled that he raised 32 committees to work with communities across the state to ascertain their needs and how to tackle such needs.
The anchor of the forum, Mr Udeme Etukayin said the policy engagement series was designed to xray views aimed at a solution-driven leadership and governance in Africa.
He explained that the decision to engage the former Governor, Architect Victor Attah as the lead Speaker was due to his wealth of experience, impact and wisdom in the design and development of the Uyo masterplan.