Nigeria may never overcome its challenges until its leaders at different levels start taking governance with all seriousness, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, has said.
Disturbed by the country’s socio-economic reality, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’abba, on Thursday, fingered the political class, including himself, as the cause of Nigeria’s dire state of insecurity.
He classified these prevalent issues as by-products of the egocentric interests of its political leaders.
“There is a lack of seriousness. Those in power are still not ready to accept that they must mend their ways. We have lost it democratically because those responsible for the preservation of democracy have been running around it instead of operating according to democratic tenets to the extent that the immunity of the political system has broken down.
“We must not shy away from the fact that the country is drifting because we want to satisfy the ego of certain people. We must tell the truth, and that measures must be taken to arrest this drift. And that must begin by the political authorities from top to bottom,” the former speaker said on the Channel Television programme, “Politics Today.”
Without sparing his political party, PDP, Mr Na’Abba, who served as speaker between 1999 and 2003, faulted the internal democracy of political parties in the country.
He lamented the alleged growing trend of governors hijacking party structures and impacts on the autonomy of lawmakers at the state houses of assembly and National Assembly.
The ex-speaker recounted his failed attempt to impeach President Olusegun Obasanjo at the beginning of the fourth republic over the challenges facing the country.
He said their efforts against Mr Obasanjo were blocked by the combined forces of governors and party officers.
“But what happened then was that those in the executive and the leaders of our political party conspired together to ensure that they subdued the legislature and therefore nobody can check them.
“They have taken over the powers given to the people by our constitution, in the sense that today, those who are in control of our political parties are governors and successive presidents have been beneficiaries of political parties mis-governance by governors.
“Today, the legislature is populated mainly both at the state and national level by people who were nominated, and not only elected by the governors. Unfortunately, in this case, members of the state and National Assembly cannot bring the governors and president to account,” he argued on the programme.
His argument coincided with the ongoing wrangle between members of the National Assembly and governors across party lines over the recently transmitted Electoral Bill.
Against the existing bill which granted political parties the powers to decide mode of primaries, Clause 87 in the bill awaiting President Muhammadu Buhari assent, proposed direct primary as compulsory for all political parties in nominating their candidates for elections.
Mr Buhari has been consulting with concerned agencies and institutions for recommendations regarding the proposed clauses in the bill.
The bill was transmitted to the president two weeks ago.
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