Tyrants Won’t Become Leaders In Parliamentary Democracy — Utomi 

The thought leader noted that thriving democracies in the world practice parliamentary democracy.

FILE: Prof Pat Utomi



Political economist Prof Pat Utomi says parliamentary democracy will increase accountability of public office holders and reduce cost of governance.

“A parliamentary form of government is clearly so much more cost-effective for a democracy than presidential type system where you have to run around the entire country,” Utomi said on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Thursday.

The thought leader said in parliamentary democracy, tyrants won’t become leaders, noting that thriving democracies in the world practice parliamentary democracy.

He said people connect more with the parliamentary system of government than “detached ministers whom somebody brings from nowhere”.



Mid-February, talks of parlimentary democracy resurrected in Nigeria when a group of 60 lawmakers in the House of Representatives sought amendments to the 1999 Constitution to transit from the current presidential system to the parliamentary system of government.

The lawmakers said the transition has become necessary to reduce the cost of government in the face of dwindling revenue.

Titled, ‘The Bills Proposing Constitutional Alterations For a Transition To Parliamentary System of Government,’ the bill was sponsored by the House Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda, and 59 others. The bill was read on the floor of the House during plenary in Abuja but has not progressed since the first reading six weeks ago.

Many prominent Nigerians have since joined the call for a transition to the parliamentary system of government.

Utomi said something has fundamentally gone wrong with the leadership philosophy in Nigeria with selfish leaders serving themselves through living opulent lifestyles rather than serving the people.

He said with parliamentary democracy, senseless spendings by leaders would be a thing of the past.

The political economist said, “First of all, accountability is missing in this current arrangement. It’s so bad. In a parliamentary system, accountability increases. The fact that the people are close to the government by the fact that their direct representatives get into parliament, those direct representatives, people among them, lead them and they are constantly referring to the people, the problems and the challenges on a daily basis.

“And if the government is not delivering, the government can fall today and we’ll have a new government tomorrow but here (in presidential system), what you have to do is make people poor and take advantage of poverty, distribute some things to them on election day, in the next four years, nobody asks you any question, you behave like a tyrant, you do anything you like. So, accountability is one reason why the parliamentary system is a preferred form of government.”