Legal luminary Afe Babalola says Nigeria should suspend plans for the 2023 general elections and opt for a stop-gap interim government.
Babalola, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), made the proposal on Monday at a media briefing held at the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
He raised fears that using the current Constitution to conduct another election in Nigeria would only reproduce the faulty leadership and system being experienced in the country.
In a bid to prevent Nigeria from slipping into such a situation, the legal icon stressed that a new constitution has become an urgent need.
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This is sequel to his earlier call about a month ago for a return to the parliamentary system of government before another election is conducted.
“As soon as the President, the present government completes its term, do not hold a new election,” he proposed. “Rather let us have an interim government for a short period to discuss a new Constitution.
“This will consist of all retired presidents, vice Presidents, governors, and some selected people.”
Babalola declared that the country was already bankrupt, citing the exchange rates of the naira to dollar which he described as a free fall, as well as the level of external debt as the basis for his assertion.
“The naira, which was N199 to $1 in 2015, is now over N570 to a dollar,” he lamented. “The external debt which was $10.7 billion in 2015 is now over $38 billion. The government is borrowing more, and spending more.
“Moneybags now control the lever of powers, if we allow the present Constitution beyond 2023, what we will be getting is recycling leadership who will continue the old ways.”
The legal icon, who also expressed worry that politics has become a money-spinner and business venture in Nigeria, called for a new order whereby the legislature works run part-time.