Obi Advocates for Parliamentary System in Nigeria

Peter Obi, the 2023 presidential candidate for the Labour Party (LP), has proposed the adoption of a parliamentary system of government in Nigeria, suggesting that it would enhance accountability and citizen engagement.

Speaking at a lecture held at Harvard Law School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Obi argued for the implementation of a system where the president could directly interface with citizens at least once a month.

Obi criticized the existing presidential system, asserting that it has failed to produce effective leadership in Nigeria. He highlighted the lack of accountability under the current system, where leaders serve four-year terms without adequate oversight or responsiveness to the populace.

Advocating for reform, Obi’s remarks underscore the growing debate surrounding Nigeria’s governance structure and the need for alternative models to address systemic challenges.

He said: “What happens is, because of the presidential system that has no president in Nigeria today, we have a bad leader and he stays there for four years. When we have a parliamentary system, we can move a motion of no confidence within two or three years.

“If we are in a parliamentary system, a president will be a member of parliament.

“Today, if you elect me as president of Nigeria or governor, I can remove myself entirely from being answerable to the people, just hire a gang of lunatics, talking rubbish every day.

“While, if it is a parliamentary system, during the president’s question time, he has to answer. He doesn’t have to hire anybody to speak for him.

“A president in Nigeria can decide not to talk to anybody for one year and nobody cares because he has hired all these people who do the talking. If you say anything, they call you names, they do this.

“So, we need a parliamentary system where the president will be a member of parliament and will at least, even if it is once a month, answer the people who elected him; because we didn’t elect all these gangsters. We elected somebody and we want the person to talk to us.”

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