By Taiye Odewale
Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has identified high cost of governance and inherent disconnect between political leaders and the populace as the major flaws of the presidential system.
On the contrary, he said the parliamentary system was cheaper to run and promoted popular participation and accountability.
Ekweremadu spoke at the inaugural session of the non-partisan Enugu West Peoples Assembly on Wednesday at Udi in Udi local government area, Enugu state.
The lawmaker, who has been an advocate of a hybrid of the presidential and parliamentary systems of government, said deliberations at the assembly were consciously tailored along the parliamentary system to enable the people to seek direct answers from their elected representatives on issues relating to their wellbeing and their collective aspirations.
“What we are doing here is a very creative contribution to Political Science. For a long time, some of us opposed the presidential system for the reason of its expensive nature disconnect between the leaders and those they are leading.
“You hardly see your Ministers and Commissioners. Sometimes even when you invite them, they do not come. But what we are doing here is akin to a parliamentary system where the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, and other government officials regularly field questions from the parliamentarians,” he said.
He also harped on the need to focus on the youth and women in the political recruitment process with a view to producing future leaderships that are vast in experience at all levels of government.
Fielding questions on the high unemployment rate, Ekweremadu said the solution rested on vocational training and skill acquisition as government could not provide employment for all.