Nigeria: The Contradictions (Part 26)

By Ikenga Chronicles December 20, 2017

Nigeria: The Contradictions (Part 26)

— Baron Roy

The top 10 most developed countries are: Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Holland, USA, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and Denmark in that order. The next set are France, Britain, Japan, Finland, Iceland, Sweden etc. A common denominator among the first top 20 economies worldwide is that apart from the USA which operates a Presidential system of government, all the other democracies operate the Parliamentary System of Government! In some of the democracies where there’s a monarch (e.g Norway), the Parliament calls the shots still.

In the Parliamentary system, even the Prime Minister or Chancellor is a member of the Parliament. All the ministers (secretaries) are parliamententarians. Their activities are subjected to the minutest scrutiny. There’s no possibility of overlordship or hanky-panky by the Executive arm of the parliament. The Prime Minister cannot inordinately order the closure of a company or the arrest of an opponent! The abuse of power is kept to the barest minimum. Every single decision of the Executive arm passes through the fire of integrity. It is the most responsive system in the world. Little wonder why among the top 20 economies in the world, 19 of them operate the parliamentary system of government?

In some parliamentary systems, the proportion of the votes obtained determines the number of parliamentarians. This is what takes place in Israel and Norway. Every single vote in the proportional representation system has a value. This is the real multiparty democracy.

A further advantage of the parliamentary system is the interdependence of all parties. In Denmark, no single party has had a clear majority since 1909. A ruling party must depend on the support of other parties. A major advantage of this system is that when an obscene individual becomes the Head of Government, the country doesn’t have to wait for 4 years to throw his arse on the sidewalk but do it with the simple passage of a Vote of No-confidence! Arseholes are changed by the second. In the presidential system, you elect an arsehole and you’re stuck with him for the duration!

The presidential system encourages “winner takes it all”. The presidential system is mainly found in the Americas and in Africa. Aside from the USA presidential system where the constitution is so robust and federalism is working, no other presidential system worldwide is as robust or as responsive as the parliamentary system. The Prime Minister in the Parliamentary System is on duty daily and always on his toes, the President in a presidential system may relocate to the UK for 100 days or more!

When we speak of the “glory days of Nigeria”, those were the days we practiced the 1963 Republican Constitution which was parliamentarian! We allowed the military to throw away our working system and supplant same with an inferior system that has its inferiority proved worldwide with verifiable statistics.

The very same Republican Constitution we have rejected was studied by the Trucial States in 1971. The Trucial States are the United Arab Emirates today with the commercial capital in Dubai. They adopted and modified a semblance of the Nigerian 1963 Constitution and have created a First World out of the desert! The same constitution that we have abandoned has brought development to the UAE, while we languish in misery.

India, the largest democracy on the globe, runs the parliamentary system. In 1956, they amended the constitution such that the federating units are modelled along linguistic affiliations and ethnic groupings. Today, India is a force to reckon with; excelling in engineering, trade and producing world champions like TATA, Reliance and have basically taken over British firms.

If the South is not comfortable with the quality of life in Nigeria, why then does it allow this irresponsible misery of its people? Of course, the South lacks organization and leadership!

The constitution ought to be an instrument to enhance the quality of life of the citizen, and not an instrument of his oppression!

(To be continued)

  • Culled from the book, Taming The Jungle by Baron Roy.