Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, a former Minister of Information, was 86 years old yesterday having been born May 25, 1932. He is a trained lawyer, politician, and elder statesman. The Ijaw National Leader, who spoke with selected Journalists in his Asokoro Residence, Abuja observed that the Nigerian president is too powerful, and we should combine both presidential and parliamentary system of governance. IORAKPEN ISHU-JOSEF was there for LEADERSHIP.
Nigeria's Past Leaders
Nigeria's previous leaders were dedicated in serving Nigeria. Even though there was corruption, it was minimal. There was nothing wrong anyone working for government and you get a favour out of that job. It was difficult to see one person amass wealth the way we have today. Today, people are thinking of themselves more that the country. When you think of yourself first, to take public money, it is bad. You take 80% and give people 20%? That is why there is no development. I think the difference between leaders of those days and today, we were thinking of Nigeria before ourselves.
Politics and Nationalism
At that time, nobody was thinking about where you come from. There was no tribalism like now. In our little ward, in Warri, the urban district council was for everybody. The Igbos were elected chairmen. An Uroboman was a chairman of in my place for 8 years. So that ethnicity was not there. Come to reginal level, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was more popular in the west than the east and he won election in Yorubaland but today they will say go to your state. Even your wife cannot contest election is her husband's place. That is pertinence in politics. There was no bitterness in politics.
There was no money in politics but today politics is business. Politics in Nigeria is now a profession. Legislators are found guilty of bribe and are being tried and they are not ashamed. The nationality feeling was very strong in those days.
Presidential And Parliamentary Systems Of Government
Any of these systems can succeed but because the fault is our not the system. If we practice presidential system as it is practiced in America there is nothing wrong with it. If we practice parliamentary as it is done in Britain or Canada, there is not wrong with it. But when you deliberately combine the two to suit your own purpose, to take what is good for you and leave what is not good for you.