By Enekorogha Godbless.
The founder of Aare Babalola University, Aare Afe Babalola has kicked against the 2023 general election. The university proprietor had advised the Federal Government to set an interim government for six months at the end of the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
Babalola maintained that the Interim government at the end of Buhari’s tenure would resolve insecurity, economic, political, social, religious and other excruciating ills plaguing the federation.
He added that there was no need for the 2023 election until Nigerians will have “a new-look peoples’ Constitution which should provide for part-time legislators and non-executive president.”
Babalola posited that the members of the interim government for 2023 should comprise all living previous presidents and vice presidents, selected members and governors and members of prominent professional associations in the country.
He stated that the Nigeria Medical Association, Nigeria Bar Association, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) should be part of the interim government in 2023.
He further postulated that such delegates should be elected on a zero party basis, adding that the 1999 Constitution foisted on Nigerians by the military was no longer profitable to the country.
“The same constitution has made politics become not only very attractive but the only lucrative business in Nigeria today. What this means is that any election that holds under the present scenario will end up producing transactional and recycled leaders, with no ability to turn things around,’’ he said.
The elder statesman advised that the interim government should make provisions for principles on qualifications of aspirants contesting elections.
“The new constitution should also provide for part-time legislators and not full-time legislators, considering the attendant waste of resources,” he said.
“The new constitution should also provide that there shall be no salary, but sitting allowances only for lawmakers. It should provide a true federal system of government, instead of the expensive presidential system of government. I suggest a parliamentary system of government, with a unicameral legislature.
“The new constitution should also provide a body at the local, state and federal levels to screen all aspirants on the sources of their wealth and means of livelihood, a criminal record which includes pending suits,’’ he said.
The famous law interpreter, who spoke at the university of Balalola on Monday disclosed to the press that the country has shed too many tears and blood due to insecurity and continuously attacked the law-abiding citizenry by hoodlums and outlaws without responses from those at the head of affairs.
He added, “I decided to talk because this country is now different from the one I used to know. That is why we need a new constitution after President Muhammadu Buhari that will spell out rules and regulations on the qualifications of those who are qualified to contest elections.
“I believe that whoever is seeking elections as a President, governors and National Assembly members should not be more than 60 years, with good and sound health, sound education, experience, good human relations, friendliness and firmness, vision and mission, among others.
“The new constitution shall provide for part-time legislators and not full time and the attendant wasting of resources, who will be collecting allowances and not salaries. The new constitution will propose a federal system of government rather than a presidential system and a parliamentary system with a unicameral legislature.
“We need a constitution that will throw up young, brilliant, dedicated people to save this country. We can’t get all these under the present constitution.”
He added further, “the external debt, which was $10.7bn in 2015 is now over $38 billion. The government is borrowing more, spending more, but earning fewer revenues. The worse thing is that the debt servicing level is also rising.”