Chief Afe Babalola SAN, a legal luminary and elder statesman, believes that when President Muhammadu Buhari’s term ends in 2023, an interim government should take over.
At a press conference in Ado-Ekiti on Monday, Babalola stated that the interim administration should be in place for six months in order to set a new route for Nigeria.
He emphasized that the 2023 elections should be postponed until Nigeria has a “new-look peoples’ Constitution” that includes “part-time lawmakers and a non-executive president.”
Members of the interim government, according to Babalola, should be recruited from all living past presidents and vice presidents, as well as certain selected ministers and governors and delegates from significant professional organisations such as the Nigeria Medical Association, Nigeria Bar Association, Nigeria Labour Congress, and Nigeria Union of Journalists.
Such delegates, according to the elder statesman, should be elected on a non-partisan basis.
He expressed sadness that the present 1999 Constitution, which was imposed on Nigerians by the military, was no longer in touch with current realities.
“The same Constitution has turned politics into not only a highly appealing industry, but Nigeria’s sole profitable business today.
“What this means is that any election held under the current circumstances would produce transactional and recycled leaders who will be unable to turn things around,” he warned.
According to the university’s president, the new Constitution, which should be organized by the interim government, should include rules and regulations about enhanced requirements for individuals running for office.
He went on to say that the new Constitution should allow for part-time lawmakers rather than full-time legislators, due to the waste of resources.
“The new Constitution should likewise provide for no pay for legislators, but simply sitting allowances.”
Instead of the costly presidential system, it should create a truly federal structure of governance. I advocate for a parliamentary administration with a unicameral legislature.
“The new Constitution should also establish a committee at the municipal, state, and federal levels to screen all applicants based on their sources of money and means of livelihood, as well as their criminal record, which should include any outstanding lawsuits,” he stated.
Finally, Babalola suggested that any individual seeking to become Nigeria’s president must be under 60 years of age and hold a varsity degree.