Afe Babalola seeks poll suspension, interim govt after Buhari

Afe Babalola.fw

Legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has said an interim government should replace the current administration at the expiration of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in 2023.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Babalola told a news conference in Ado-Ekiti on Monday that the interim government should be in force for six months to chart a new course for Nigeria.

He stressed that the 2023 elections should be suspended until Nigeria has “a new-look peoples’ Constitution which should provide for part-time legislators and non-executive President.”

He added that members of the interim government should be drawn from among living former Presidents and vice-presidents; some selected ministers and governors and delegates of prominent professional associations like the Nigeria Medical Association, Nigeria Bar Association and the Nigeria Labour Congress among others.

Babalola said, “The 1999 Constitution has made politics become not only very attractive, but lucrative business in Nigeria today.

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“What this means is that any election that holds under the present scenario will end up producing transactional and recycled leaders with no ability to turn things around.”

The university proprietor advised that the new Constitution, which should be coordinated by the interim government, should spell out rules and regulations on improved qualifications of those contesting elections.

He added that the new Constitution should provide for part-time legislators and not full-time legislators, considering the attendant waste of resources.

Babalola added, “The new Constitution should also provide that there shall be no salary, but sitting allowances only for lawmakers.

“It should provide a true federal system of government, instead of the expensive presidential system of government. I suggest a parliamentary system of government, with a unicameral legislature.

“The new Constitution should also provide a body at the local, state and federal levels to screen all aspirants on the sources of their wealth and means of livelihood, criminal record which includes pending suits.”

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The legal luminary added that any person that would become the President of Nigeria should not be older than 60 years of age and must have a university degree.

He expressed fears over the future of Nigeria, saying incessant borrowings had put the country on the edge.

Babalola, who said that the dollar to  naira exchange rates free fall, as well as the level of external debt showed that the country was already bankrupt, stated, “The government is borrowing more, spending more and earning less revenue while debt servicing level is rising.

“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 imperatively necessary before any election.”

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