Dr. Stephen Lafenwa, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan has said that all the presidential aspirants so far are not eligible to stand for election in the absence of a federal system of government because Nigeria is a ‘unitary system in federalism’.
The University Don stated this while participating on a live Raypower current affairs programme tagged ‘POLITICS TODAY’ in Ibadan on Monday, discussing Fiscal federalism and resources control.
Commenting on Nigeria’s federalism, Dr. Lafenwa said “you know it is funny when people talk about true federalism, genuine federalism, yes federalism and so on. It is abnormal to talk about true federalism. Federalism is federalism. It’s a system that shared governmental powers between central government and component units and it doesn’t mean the central government is superior.
“But in Nigeria everything is centralized. The system is faulty In Nigeria here, we are practicing unitary system in a federal system, the intergovernmental relations that characterized the first republic is gone. With this system, let me tell you nothing will work. You see governors going to Abuja cap in hand begging for palliative.
“And that is why I laughed when some presidential aspirants are saying they will solve security problem. They will do this and that. All the presidential aspirants that are contesting or indicating interest now are not eligible, none of them is eligible because for 23 years of practicing democracy, ‘on quote now’, since 1999 they couldn’t solve a single problem, which problem have they solved? If they are sincere and credible to themselves to tell us the truth, they would have told us that they are not eligible to come out”
When asked by the media Gutru, an award winning broadcast journalist, Olayemi Afolabi, the Presenyter of the programme, what Nigeria can do to get ride of the bad system for a functional system. Dr. Stephen Lafenwa replied” we still have to go back to some of these resolutions from constitutional conferences, Obasanjo conducted one and Goodluck Jonathan also conducted one in 2014 what happened to then? They threw away baby with bathwater. We should go back to those resolutions, the 1999 constitution is an imposition from the military.”
On his own part, a management consultant and a political commentator who was also hosted on the political programme, Arakunrin Femi Olowookere called for a reverse to 1963 Republican Constitution because the 1999 constitution is a fraud document dubiously packaged by the ex military men.
He said: “Our constitution is an aberration on the intelligent of the Nigerian people. A constitution is like a business plan or template on the system operates. The constitution is a fraud, a military constitution that was designed to favour the military elites and that is why they are recycling themselves. The solution really is to go back to 1963 constitution where we have Regional Government that worked then.
“Right now we are in Cocoa House which was built from cocoa proceeds. If we have a Regional System, it will not be necessary going cap in hand to Abuja for monthly allocation” Femi Olowookere submitted