A former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah has faulted the Presidential System of government, saying it has failed in Nigeria.
He, therefore, advocated for a return to the parliamentary system of government, to enable communities to select and elect people to represent them.
Attah said these while speaking during a virtual Public Policy Dialogue, Promoted by Ricchezza Initiative for Social Empowerment in Uyo the Akwa Ibom State capital.
According to the elder statesman the cost of an election in the presidential system has robbed the masses of the allegiance of their representatives, as public office holders now strive to satisfy the yearnings of their sponsors at the detriment of the people they ought to have represented.
“I came here with something; “come let us reason together” because I knew that whatever you are, whatever your exposure, however intelligent you are, you can’t do it alone, you must have a community that works with you, tell you what their needs are, tell you what their demands are and leadership means being able to fulfill those things for the people.
“Today, people do not truly communicate with their representatives because they did not really seriously need their vote to get into offices. That is why the presidential system is not working for Nigeria.
“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 elections 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 the presidential election or across the state for those contesting as governors, you need a lot of money. So the moment you are sworn into office, you focus on your sponsors” Attach said.
To succeed in laying the foundation which saw Akwa Ibom to where it is today, Attah said he raised 32 committees to work with communities across the state to ascertain their needs and how to tackle such needs.
Attah who maintained that the parliamentary system would give room for true federalism, where the federating units would be able to take full control of their resources and be able to develop local authorities including security, called for a new constitution to get Nigeria on track.