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Time to change our governance template

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governance

THERE is a growing consensus that the Coronavirus pandemic is bound to become a change agent by the time it is over.

The way the disease has generated mortalities even in the developed world (Europe, Asia and America) despite their advanced health systems will surely rush political leaders and experts back to the drawing boards in search of new directions, going forward.

For us in Nigeria, it has become all too obvious that governance is a huge joke.

It is only those who are still freeloading from our outdated and unworkable system that will still want to hold on to it.

It then behoves the vast majority of our people outside this unholy circle to combine efforts and push for radical changes that will return power and the benefits of governance to the people.

Our presidential system is pitched on the vehicle of centralised military command and not people-oriented. The last time that people truly felt the presence of governance was about 40 years ago when the first oil boom was coming to an end.

Since the late President Shehu Shagari introduced the famed Austerity Measures in 1982, ordinary Nigerians have been abandoned.

Only those in government or connected to it benefit even in times of surplus.

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Government has increasingly lost interest in adequately funding people-specific sectors, especially education, health and agriculture. The ruling classes and those connected to them simply reacted to the inadequacies and rapidly falling standards in these sectors by shifting their tastes to education, health and agricultural products made in foreign countries.

The presidential system empowers those who find themselves in power to complete their maximum tenures with or without the approval of the people.

This Coronavirus outbreak has shown that our health sector is almost nonexistent. We don’t have a national action plan to cope with emergencies, disasters and outbreaks.

We only have agencies that go through the motions and drain our public resources. We have nine functional testing labs in five states and Abuja. Even our State House Clinic in Abuja, despite huge annual budgetary allocations, cannot handle simple malaria!

The situation will never change unless we do a total governance template rejig. Our 1999 Constitution is a big lie and unsuitable for a truly federal system.

We need a new, people-made constitution that returns power to the people and enables them to produce and change governments as they want.

It is only then that elected leaders will be compelled to focus governance on the people by paying quality attention to education, health, power, infrastructure, agriculture and other areas that make life more abundant for the people.

If the Parliamentary system which served us well before the civil war will fit the bill, then let us return to it.

VANGUARD

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