Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Thursday stated that the parliamentary system of governance would enable smaller parties to participate in governance to the extent of their electoral performance.
The Governor stated this at Government House, Makurdi during the inauguration of the committee to prepare Benue State’s submission to the National Assembly Committee for the review of the 1999 constitution.
Ortom who enthused that the parliamentary system of governance provides opportunities for power sharing explained further that it would also be more accountable as it would provide for regular interface between the leaders of the Executive and the representatives of the people.
He described the current practice in which the Federal Government has the constitutional powers in nearly 100 percent performance while the states and local governments are only able to function in 30 percent or less of these areas as a distortion of the spirit and practice of Federalism.
“We need a constitution to set out a system where the various tiers of government can simultaneously engage in the types of relationship that are common to all functional Federalism by specifying the areas in which the tiers have autonomy, areas in which they need to cooperate, areas where the relationship is supervisory and areas where power is shared.
He also advocated for the separation of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from that of the Hon. Minister of the Justice as a way to further strengthen the Rule of Law and promote accountability.
“We need to establish a Constitutional Court to support the Supreme Court in settling disputes between the levels of Government as a court of first and last resort
“Furthermore, we will need an Inter-Governmental Relations Council with a mandate to undertake the task set above”, Ortom suggested.
Ortom urged the committee to approach the assignment with all the diligence, sensitivity and tact that it deserves, saying ‘you should accord every contribution and contributor their due respect’.