We Adopt Parliamentary System To Deepen Democracy – ‎Aregbesola

…as he swears-in 389 newly elected councillors

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday disclosed that his administration adopted the Parliamentary System of Government at the Local Government level in fulfillment of the people’s wish in the state and to deepen democracy, as well as entrench genuine democratic practice at grassroots.

He said it was the overwhelming wish of the people, as stated in the report of the Barrister Gbadegesin Adedeji led committee on political reforms that parliamentary system of government be adopted. In adopting parliamentary system, the state government only complied with the wish of the people.

‎Governor Aregbesola made the disclosure while addressing the people at the swearing-in ceremony for Councillors representing wards in the Local Governments, Local Council Development Areas, Area Councils and Administrative Offices, held at the state secretariat, Abere, Osogbo.

He held that the experience in the First Republic will attest to the fact that parliamentary system deepens democracy and offers far greater political representation and governance effectiveness than any other system.

The governor argued that the decision to adopt parliamentary system of government was also in fulfilment of Section 7 (1) of the Nigerian constitution that requires that ‘The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.’

He opined that the action of the state to resolve at the new system is not in anyway against the constitution or contrary to the tenets of democracy but rather helps to galvanize good governance and effective representation.

According to him, parliamentary system is more democratic, compared to the executive, in that the executive system tends towards dictatorship, arbitrariness and absolutism since power is concentrated in one man’s hand, with little or no check.

He added, ‎”our decision is not against the constitution, as quoted earlier. Nowhere did it mention executive or parliamentary – only that it must be democratic – and parliamentary system is as democratic as you can ever get.

“You will recall that in 2012, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria asked for memorandum on the review of the 1999 Constitution. A 15-man committee was set up in Osun under the chairmanship of Barrister Gbadegesin Adedeji to aggregate the opinions and views from the state.

“The committee held public sittings for three weeks during which members of the public, institutions, nongovernmental organisations and others made submission.

‎”In the end, it was the overwhelming wish of the people, as stated in the committee’s report, that parliamentary system of government be adopted at all levels of government. What we have done therefore is to defer to the wish of the people in their clamour for parliamentary system of government.

“To appreciate this gesture, in a parliamentary system, the executive emerges from and is formed in the parliament, making the members of parliament to be members of the executive as well and the leadership of the executive to be first among equals, primus inter pares.

“In a parliamentary system, decisions are taken collectively and must be agreed upon by the majority in the house while members of the executive who are also parliamentarians can and are daily called to answer questions on any executive action taken.

“‎Because the executive members are appointed from parliament, a lot of cost is saved, compared to when fresh “persons have to be appointed as ministers, commissioners, chairmen of councils etc.

“This system saves campaign cost and reduces the impetus for corruption in that a candidate only need to campaign in his or her constituency, unlike in the executive system where a presidential candidate must tour the whole country and a governorship candidate must tour the whole state while a chairmanship candidate must tour the entire local council.

Charging the newly elected Councillors to be change agents that will transform governance at their local communities and deepen democratic practice with quality representation,‎ Aregbesola said, “you must therefore listen to your people and give them access. Your status has placed you in a position of leadership, but not in a position of supremacy and tyranny over the people”. ‎

In his remarks, the Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon‎ Najeem Folasayo Salam, said the adoption of Parliamentary System was strictly in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said the House approved the Parliamentary System to run and govern the people at the grassroots having considered its numerous advantages to other forms and systems of government.

The speaker described the decision taken by the state to form the parliamentary as legal, constitutional and legitimate, saying it has no legal contradiction.

Salam expressed confidence in the fact that the Parliamentary system would strengthen democracy and democratic tenets and as well enthrone good governance at the local levels.

PHOTONEWS: Aregbesola Swears-In 389 Elected Councillors In Osun

Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday coordinated the taking of oaths by the newly elected 389 councillors in respective wards across the state.

The ceremony took place at the Bola Ige House, State Secretariat, Abeere.

Photos Credit: Dolapo Julius

Aregbesola Harps On Sensitivity To Public Feelings, Improvement Of IGR As He Swears-in Councillors

Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday evening charged the newly elected councillors and the would-be Chairmen under the newly introduced parliamentary system in the State of Osun to be change agents that will radically transform governance and their respective localities.

He was speaking at a ceremony to swear-in the 389 councillors representing the number of wards in the state. .

The exercise is to be followed by the inauguration of the parliaments by the clerk of the house in each local government.

The Local Government Chairmen will subsequently emerge from among the councillors in the newly introduced parliamentary system.

Aregbesola who maintained that the parliamentary system is more people-driven and more democratic than the executive system charged the elected officials to give listening ear to people.

He charged them to be prepared to hit the ground running in the delivery of good governance at the grassroots.

“Your first duty is environmental sanitation. You must find an end to the filth by the road side and take ownership of waste management through partnership with private sector. You have three weeks- all dirts on the road sides must be evacuated to designated dump sites.

“Two, take charge of the various markets in your Communities. Eliminate any form of street trading. It is as archaic as nomadic cattle rearing. It is risky to human lives and it is your responsibility to prevent avoidable deaths arising from street trading.

“Third is revenue generation. You must galvanise all available resources to generate revenues for administration and your people. Revenues must be tapped from taxable adults and investments. Free money is no longer available.

Governor Aregbesola asked the newly elected local government parliamentarians to be sensitive to people’s feelings and take their victory at the election very seriously by seeing themselves as custodians of people’s choice.

He advised them to avoid tyranny, dictatorship, absolutism and arbitrariness which typify the executive system, urging them to remember that the party remains supreme and must guide their actions and policies.

Aregbesola told them to be ready to act according to the party directives that would be issued regularly in the interest of the people. He dispelled all the misgivings and concerns being raised about the legality of the new system.

“It is most pleasing to see democratic government return to local government. There has been both genuine and malicious concerns, but such concerns are unfounded because the totality of governance of local government administration is determined by the laws made by the state assembly. Nigeria’s Constitution is neutral about this. The constitution does not specify executive or parliamentary system, it only asks it to be Democratic – be it parliamentary or executive.

“To us, Parliamentary system is more Democratic. Parliamentary system is rooted in the party and the people. Its greatest beauty and attraction is that it promotes the party because it is the party that forms the government. It affirmed the supremacy of the political party. When anyone joins the party, it is because he believes in its philosophy. It is not possible for you to work against your party.

“And because the executive members are appointments in the cabinet, it saves cost of campaign by the politicians and the cost of organizing elections for the executive by the government; unlike where the presidential or the governorship aspirant has to tour the whole nation or the entire state. It also enhances stability. It deepens democracy, like in Britain and in our First Republic,” he said.

Aregbesola congratulated the parliamentarians and the chairpersons that will emerge later, even as he assured them that the proclamation and constitution of the local government parliaments had been signed into law.

Aregbesola To Swear-in Councillors, Release Operational Guidelines Tomorrow

 

Governor Rauf Aregbesola will tomorrow swear-in the 389 councillors elected in the January 27 Local Government Parliamentary Elections.

 

A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa in Osogbo on Monday says the event is billed for Bola Ige House, State Secretariat, Abeere at 10am.

 

Baderinwa stated that expected at the occasion are top government functionaries, political parties’ leaders and sundry stakeholders across the state.

 

He adds that “The event will afford Ogbeni Aregbesola the opportunity to pass the operational guidelines for local governments and the direction to which the incoming operators should follow.”

 

“It will be recalled that the Osun Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) on January 27, 2018 conducted elections into 71 wards while 318 candidates were returned unopposed by the electoral body, in accordance with provisions of the laws made by the House of Assembly setting the local governments up and stating its administration.”

 

“The 30 local governments and 37 local Councils Development Areas, Area Councils and Area Offices will commence work immediately after the swearing in.”

Osun Local Government Parliamentary System – The Facts

Misunderstood in different forms, the Osun Local Government Parliamentary System is not in any aberration with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The system which provides for only parliamentarians at the local government setting operates with only councillors; a new method of governance away from the customary presidential system where the Chairman exercises full Executive Powers as practiced over the years.

In the new arrangement, there will still be the acclaimed “Local Government Chairman” but not elected. The chairman is a product of the councillors who are lawmakers at the council level. He/She is elected from his/her colleagues who have been duly elected by citizens of respective wards across the state.

The arrangement is not in any way an aberration of the 1999 constitution as it fully defines the relevance of Section 7(1) of Nigeria’s Constitution and Section 22 of the LG(Administration) Law of Osun State 2002 as amended.

The elected Chairman among other councillors will exercise full executive powers over the local government just as the Prime Minister does in other parliamentary democracies.

The new system reduces cost of governing the third-tier of government, eliminates local government wide campaigns by prospective LG Chairmen and their deputies as well as curbing wastage in providing for two more offices since the Chairman and Vice Chairman are councillors and maintain their status quo as Councillors.

A good attribute of this is that the chairmen and vice-chairmen can be removed and replaced if they underperform or lose the confidence reposed in them by their colleagues.