Ninety-three-year-old Senator Ayo Fasanmi, a leader of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, says the parliamentary system of government is the most appropriate system of government for Nigeria.
He said this in an interview the Punch newsapaper published on Sunday, adding that the system is cheaper for the country.
According to Fasanmi, the parliamentary system of government is preferable to the presidential.
He said: “In the first Republic, we practised the parliamentary system and in the Second Republic, we practised the presidential system of government. I think the parliamentary system of government is better, or let me say I prefer it to the presidential system of government.
“It is cheaper to run than the presidential system of government. But I think the system was bastardised when the military came into government. That mentality is still there. I will go for the parliamentary system of government. We need to save as much as we can save now. Parliamentary system of government is less expensive; it is very cheap and that is the kind of system that we need now.”
When asked if the nation should consider part-time legislature as a way to reduce cost, Fasanmi said it can be considered but money should not be a motivating factor.
He said: “When I was in the House of Reps in 1964 and the Senate in the Second Republic in 1979 and 1983, money was not the motivating factor. It will be a nice idea if we take a second look at the way we do certain things.
“In our time, the love to serve prompted us to come out and contest elective offices and that was why the nation had competent and honest people in offices then. Part-time legislature was done before and it worked, so, there is nothing wrong if we consider it. The interest of the people should be paramount; it is only then that we can get competent people to serve in public offices.”
On the conviction of Walter Onnoghen, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Fasanmi went on to say that “whoever will be nominated as a judge is not a corrupt person. Judges should be carefully selected to avoid putting corrupt persons on the bench. One cannot have a corrupt person to dispense justice. There will be no justice; there will be no fairness. Only people of integrity should find their way to the judiciary.
"It is unfortunate that the former Chief Justice of Nigeria found himself in this situation, but we must make sure that people with proven track of integrity are the ones dispensing justice. If we put the right people there, Nigeria will soon become a shining example for other nations to emulate in Africa. Nigeria was a great country in the days of Obafemi Awolowo and others.”