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Northern Elders under the aegis of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF),Saturday condemned the call for a national conference proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan, alleging that it is a strategy devised by the president to actualise his 2015 presidential ambition.
Speaking yesterday in Bauchi, the spokesman of the forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi, said the proposed national conference by the President could not address the problems of the country.
Abdullahi , who said he was giving his personal reaction to the proposed conference, also pointed out that several conferences that were held in the country to surmount the political problems failed woefully, saying for the nation to correct its numerous mistakes and lapses, it should return to the parliamentary system of government practiced in the first republic.
According to Abdullahi , “If conference, conversation, dialogue is necessary in addition to so many that we had from 1914 to date. Then what conversation are you going to hold that is different from the numerous ones that we had?
“The problem of this nation started way back in 1976 when the military decreed on a presidential system of government. The system we are running now is expensive and corrupt. I have always argued that the parliamentary system of government is cheaper. The presidential system of government from our investigation recently is four to five times more expensive than the parliamentary system of government.
“The country would have been progressive than it is today if we had continued with the parliamentary system of government because it is more accountable. So I think that the main issue to decide on now by Nigerians is whether to go back to the parliamentary system of government and abandon the presidential system of government because the presidential system is corruption prone and expensive.”
The elder statesman further asked: “How can you go and buy two cars for N255 million? “ adding “This can only happen under this kind of system.’’