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Nigeria is a failing state and the worst will happen if we don’t act – Ex-INEC boss, Jega

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, has warned that Nigeria is a failing state and if the people don’t act fast ”the worst” will happen.

He said there is a need for leaders and citizens to safeguard the system, noting that the country runs a “coagulated presidential system” which is not the best in the world.

Jega, who spoke on Saturday during a convocation lecture at the Bauchi State University, called on Nigeria’s leaders to reduce the cost of governance.

The professor of Political Science further emphasised the need for constitutional amendments, particularly on policy formulation and implementation.

Jega said; “Our leaders in leadership positions, between now and 2027, we need to put our heads together and have a rational, evidence-based process of restructuring the Nigerian federation, and to my mind the major thing we need to do is devolve power and resources from the federal to the state and local governments.

“Even if all we do is go back to the way power was distributed in the 1963 Constitution, we should do that but I think we should even go beyond that because we need to reduce the power of the Federal Government. In fact, that power of the Federal Government, in which whoever is elected president controls virtually all the resources, beheads the reality.

“There is fear that if more resources go to the states and local governments, given what we see in Nigeria now, many people are afraid that it cannot solve the problems, but my own thinking is that the more power and resources in the state and local governments the less attractive the federal becomes. Then, the more people will concentrate in terms of bringing appropriate reforms and development. It is very important we truly address these issues.

“I am saying this because it appears there is now a movement of some elite pushing for the return of the parliamentary system. I think it is a terrible thing to happen. You started with parliamentary system, you moved to presidential, you are not doing it well, and you think the solution is to go back to parliamentary system”.