Only the French system can save Nigeria – Tanko Yakasai


Elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai says Nigeria should abandon the presidential system of government if Nigerians are to fully enjoy the benefits of participatory democracy.

He said that adopting the French system, which combines elements of presidential and parliamentary systems of government, would boost the confidence of Nigerians in the polity.

Yakasai said that it would also help to keep government officials in check since the government can be asked to resign if underperforming, unlike in the presidential system.

The nonagenarian stated this in an interview with Saturday Sun while reacting to the National Assembly’s efforts to amend the 1999 Constitution.

Commenting on areas that need amendment, Yakasai said, “First and foremost, we should go back to parliamentary system of government, but we can tinker with that by adopting what is known as French system, where you have elected president with a cabinet approved by the National Assembly, who should be subjected to vote of confidence or no confidence.

“Why I want return to parliamentary system or this French system is that it is almost impossible under the present arrangement for the ordinary man like you and me to get the constitution changed, but going back to the parliamentary system, every Nigerian has somebody representing him in the National Assembly, you can tell your member that you need the constitution to be changed this way or the government is not performing and that you want the government to resign. But you have to give him the reasons you think the government has failed. The representative takes the request and presents to the NASS, and it is up to them if they are satisfied with your reasons to move a vote of no confidence on the government. If majority of them have lost confidence in that government, the government will resign and a new government will be formed.

“This is a very important check and balance of the government because once government is aware that citizens can bring it down, it will begin to perform. But where they know that they can do whatever they like and nobody can do anything to them then they would not have in mind of changing the way they are doing things.”

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