By Rotimi Ojomoyela
ADO-EKIT I—Founder and Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, Aare Afe Babalola, yesterday, called for the postponement of the 2023 general elections and the introduction of a six-month interim government, after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
The legal luminary said the preoccupation of the interim government would be to produce a new constitution that would tackle insecurity, economic, political and other excruciating ills bedevilling the nation.
Babalola, who spoke at a press conference in Ado-Ekiti, warned that if the 2023 elections are conducted, it will recycle the same crop of leaders, who will plunge the nation further into bankruptcy, economic depression, and insecurity.
His words: “To save Nigeria from nose-diving into irretrievable bankruptcy and poverty, irreparable economic and political damage brought about by the 1999 constitution and its beneficiaries, a new constitution is imperative before any election.
“I, therefore, strongly advocate that we should postpone the 2023 elections until the Interim Government put in place after the expiration of Buhari’s government has put in place a new truly People’s Constitution.
“I am not in doubt that any election conducted under the 1999 Constitution and under the prevailing economic depression and insecurity will lead to a return of most of the failed leaders who are responsible for the near bankruptcy of Nigeria today.
“No election under this constitution will bring about young men, brilliant and intelligent Nigerians who want to serve without taking money. I suggest that there should be a body at the local, state and federal levels that will screen whoever wants to be elected not the so-called primaries they are doing now.”
Nigeria now bankrupt
On the state of the economy, the legal luminary berated the government for the increase in external debt due to more borrowing and spending with less revenue.
He said: “We have nosedived into that low ebb locally because of the mismanagement of the economy because of the wrong people you put there. If you put the right people there, they will not go about borrowing without thinking of how to pay it back.
“Anybody who wants to borrow must have a source from which he is making revenue to be able to pay the loan he took. Nigeria is already bankrupt. The government is borrowing more, spending more but earning less revenue. The worse thing is that the debt servicing level is also rising.
“The new constitution shall provide a true Federal System of Government instead of the rather expensive Presidential System of Government. I suggest the Parliamentary System of Government with a Unicameral Legislature.
“The new constitution should provide for part-time legislators and not full-time legislators where there shall be no salary but sitting allowances only.”