Former secretary to the Nigerian government Babachir Lawal said states governors in Nigeria are “parasites” eating up resources that are meant for the people.
The former SGF, sacked for alleged contract fraud, said Nigeria does not need to have states to thrive. He said the current system of government in the country gives room for governors to siphon public funds.
“I’m not a constitutional expert but I know if I had my way in the setup of this country, the governors in the middle are just parasites that are taking the major share of the resources that are supposed to the go to states, they abuse it,” Lawal said in an interview.
“If I had my way, there would be federal government and local governments, such that the resources that are due to the state, would be shared equally with the local government at that level and a lot of things will be done.”
Lawal made the statement while reacting to the moves by the National Assembly to amend the country’s constitution.
“At the local government, they are closer to the people, because they are closer to the people, people are able to monitor them. People are able to get in touch with them, people are able to check their excess if any,” Lawal said.
The former Nigerian government secretary also advocated a return to the parliamentary system in Nigeria, where everybody in the parliament is an elected official that is accounted to the people.
“The presidential system is so expensive and the presidential system has concentrated power and authority on one person and whoever else he chooses to delegate that authority to,” Lawal said.
President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2017 sacked Lawal for alleged contract fraud.
A three-man committee comprising Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Security Adviser Mohammed Babagana Monguno and Attorney-General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami, was set up by Buhari to investigate the allegations against him.
Lawal was grilled by the Osinbajo-led three-man presidential panel over the N220 million meant for the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in North-East. The panel recommended his sack.
In the interview, Lawal disagreed with claims that insecurity has persisted in the country.
“The perception that insecurity is on the increase, I contest that,” Lawal said.
“At one time Boko Haram was occupying vast territories of this country in the North-east in which nobody had access to it. In Adamawa State that I know very well, seven local governments at one time were totally under the control of Boko Haram. But now it is not so.”