Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Michael Adeyemo on Monday said he wished local governments system could be abolished in the Nigerian constitution.
He also said he favours the parliamentary system of government as opposed to the presidential system.
He stated this on Monday while featuring as guest on Community Today, an online TV current affairs programme of CEO Africa.
According to Adeyemo, the creation of local governments in Nigeria was lopsided and some parts of the country were favoured against the other. He advocated for a system where the states should be allowed to decide how it administers governments at the grassroots.
His words: “My personal wish, personal opinion, is that local governments should be removed from our constitution. In the first place, the creation of those local governments was not balanced. They were not evenly distributed and some parts of the country were favoured.
“I think the federal should not be allowed to decide how the states run their governments. Some people, because of selfish interest, are advocating that the local governments be given autonomy but what happens to local governments that are not viable. A situation where each state is in control, it will be able to distribute resources accordingly and with better understanding of the state of things”.
Adeyemo’s wish tended towards the idea of restructuring that is being clamoured for across the country.
“I am an advocate of restructuring”, Adeyemo said. “The present system is not working because we borrowed the system and dropped some part of it. In the US, where we borrowed the system from, each state is in control of its resources and decides how it manages the county. The federal government does not dictate for the state what it should do as regards laws, security, education and revenue”.
The lawmaker pointed out that it is either Nigeria practices the Presidential system of government in full or drop it and return to the parliamentary system which is still being practiced by Britain which colonised Nigeria.
According to him, “the parliamentary system is cheaper and more compact because it fuses both the executive and legislature”.
Challenges of the current Federal system
Adeyemo used two separate cases to demonstrate the downside of the kind of Federal system the country runs.
“One problem with the Fulani herdsmen crisis that sometimes when a herdsmen commits an offence, instead of allowing the division to handle the case, they transfer it to Abuja. And then they tell the victim to keep coming to Abuja. Sometimes, the victim or complainant could be a poor farmer. How can he be travelling to Abuja all the time? And when the victim stops coming, the case is thrown out.
“That is the kind of federal system we run. Why cant the case be handled at the division and in the state where the crime was committed?
Local Government elections in Oyo State.
According to Adeyemo, the fact that it has been difficult to resolve the court case that led to the suspension of the local government elections, can also be attributed to the faulty federal system where the powers at the state levels are usually watered down.
He explained that those who filed the case to stop the election intentionally went to the Federal High Court, Abuja even when we have a Federal High Court here in Ibadan. “And the Abuja court assumed jurisdiction and did not refer the case back here. So, that is the problem with the whole system”, he said.
“My future is in the hand of God”, Adeyemo stated.