Three of the reactions to last week’s column were opposition to my recommendation that if by the end of April, next year President Muhammadu Buhari does not come out in support of restructuring, that the southerners in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), should during their party’s presidential primaries in 2018 vote for former Vice – President Atiku Abubakar who has identified with the idea. One of the readers, Ritchie in Abuja (080 – 5057 – 7650) believes that Atiku may have come out for restructuring now for electioneering purpose and would renege on it if he becomes the country’s president. On their part, the twain of Ibrahim (080 – 5589 – 8484) and Isa (081 – 4127 – 3263) are against the former vice – president of the country (1999 – 2007) because they see him as a corrupt politician and that such a person should not become our head of state.
I was actually not campaigning for Atiku as the three of them have taken it. I mentioned his name because so far he is the only APC leader in the North who has spoken in favour of restructuring the country. As can be seen in the last paragraph of my article it was stated that Atiku or any other acceptable northerner presented by the APC, the Peoples Democratic Party or any other party should be the one voted as president by southerners in 2019.
Apart from his anti – corruption abhorrence credential the other reason why I supported and voted for Buhari in 2011 was because he subscribed to the restructuring of the country during his campaign. My belief that he was still for it was why I voted for him last year. But apparently his running – mate in 2011 Pastor Tunde Bakare must have influenced his action five years ago. This was why in last week’s column I advocated that the restructuring of the country and creation of a state in the South – East should be campaign issues and major factors in the northern candidate southerners would vote for in 2019. If such a person becomes president and does not take steps for restructuring the country then southerners should abandon him or her during the 2023 poll.
As to the allegation that Atiku is a corrupt person, apart from Buhari and Mr. Balarabe Musa, a one – time Governor of Kaduna State (1979 – 81), I want anyone to show me another politician in the country one can vouch for as being clean of the vice. Moreover, if Atiku has not been charged and tried in a court of law or a tribunal for corruption and found guilty, how can anyone say people should not vote for him on that ground?
One of the issues in the restructuring many a Nigerian are clamouring for is to change from the presidential to the parliamentary system. In which the legislators will become part – time parliamentarians earning sitting allowances only when they attend meetings, and not been paid very fat salaries and allowances they get now as full – timers. With the parliamentary system only those out to serve their states or the country will come out to contest elections. Unlike since 1999 when people seek to go into the legislature in other to become wealthy through the huge salaries and allowances they earn and the bribes they receive from the president or governor of a state before they passed their bills or in order to escape impeachment.
The major reason why most of the presidents and governors we have had in the seventeen years of parliamentary democracy is the fact that the electorates in the whole country or an entire state are those who elect them. So, it costs billions of naira to contest election at the national or state level and as a result they have to recoup the huge sums they spent to come into office. Whereas under the parliamentary system a few wards in a local government area will be involved in voting for who becomes the prime minister and executive head of the federal government or the premier of a state.
Members of the House of Representatives will elect one of their colleagues to become the prime minister while those in the State House of Assembly will choose the premier. The prime minister will pick the ceremonial president for the country while the premier will select the ceremonial governor for a state. Given these facts, the parliamentary system is a good and effective way to reduce corruption drastically and have more money for the development of the country. Consequently, restructuring the country should be a priority goal for President Buhari, if he wants his current anti – corruption crusade to be a lasting legacy for which he would be remembered eternally.
8 history-making juju bandleaders (10)
The memorable items in the globally famous Hard Rock Hall of fame established in London, England in 1979 before King Sunny Ade’s 1984 purchased Fender Guitar was added include Eric Clapton’s Red Fender Leader II Guitar, the first to be displayed in the archive, Madonna’s wedding dress, the tinted wireframe glasses of late John Lennon of the legendary Beatles band of England and Jim Morrison’s famous brown leather pants. With this his latest international achievement and the others highlighted last week and a fortnight ago and the fact that his group has played in more countries and cities in the Americas, Europe and Africa and sold more records world-wide than any other Nigerian band, King Sunny Ade is, no doubt, the greatest Nigerian musician and bandleader of all-time.
The eighth of the history-making juju bandleaders I am showcasing is the late Oladipupo Owomoyela, better and popularly known as Orlando Owoh, of the Omima-International Band, who, like King Sunny Ade, Akinrogun Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State (1991 – 93 and 1999 – 2003), and myself was raised in Egbatedo Street, Osogbo in the 1940s and 50s. And like King Sunny Ade, who is from Ondo town, Ifon-born Orlando Owoh too is from Ondo State.
To be continued next week