Until the January 1966 coup, Nigeria was practising parliamentary system of government. Nnamdi Azikwe was the president, while Tafawa Balewa was the first and only Prime Minister Nigeria ever had. It was the coup de tat by renegade Nigerian Military officers that jettisoned the effectual system that led us from Parliamentary to Presidential System.
Unlike presidential, parliamentary system of government is less costly as the Prime Minister and other ministers are part-time workers. The government is answerable to the congress unlike in presidential (in Nigeria), where resolution of the National Assembly is useless. The parliamentary system is more suitable for multi-cultured countries like Nigeria, where regions can back a party based on their tribal and regional inclination.
Nigeria is a country where tribal, regional and partisan sentiments surpass nationalism and patriotism. A tribal chauvinist is more honoured than a nationalist. If Nigeria’s inclination is through tribal sentiments, then the parliamentary system is better for Nigeria.
If the Parliamentary system will not be allowed to return, then why can’t Nigeria adopt the Swiss style of government? In Swiss style, the parliament will chose many people from the major tribes (in the case of Nigeria) or from regions; each person will govern the country for a year and then will step down and become a minister till all the chosen candidates do their single year term before they are replaced with other people.
In Swiss style, the ultimate power rests with the National Assembly.
Nigeria needs a better system of government. This federal style is not working; it only favours the looters and undermines the will of the people.
The National Assembly should, through a referendum, bring back our parliamentary system or adopt the Swiss style. Either of the two will go a long way in solving the crisis of regional, tribal and sectarian struggles for leadership in Nigeria.