5th March, 2013
A former governor of Ogun State and a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Segun Osoba, on Monday said that Nigeria would fare better as a two-party state.
Osoba told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview in Lagos that the best for the nation’s democracy was to have two strong structures “as is practised in some other climes.
“We had the experience of a two-party system before, with the National Republican Convention (NRC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Nigeria was better for it.
“The NRC/SDP experience grouped politicians above religious and ethnic considerations,” Osoba said.
According to him, while those in NRC were republicans/conservatives, those in SDP were progressives/democrats.
“At that time, I cannot remember anyone defecting to the other party because the ideologies were clearly defined,” he said.
On the proposal for local government autonomy, Osoba said that the National Assembly had no business tinkering with the law “as it presently stands.”
“The Supreme Court judgement on local governments in Nigeria clearly stated that states are solely in charge of local government affairs, but that the National Assembly can only legislate on the mode of election for the councils.
“Local government areas are state creations and should be left as such,” he said.
Also reacting to the call by the Deputy Senate President, Mr. Ike Ekweremadu, for state police, Osoba said it was the way out of the deepening security problem in Nigeria.
“When you watch the performance of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) for instance, which is a near example of a state police, there is no doubt that it has not been a political check to anybody, which is the main fear expressed in some quarters against state police.
“LASTMA could be strengthened to function like a state police and it will do so effectively.
“The fastest way to tackle crime in a fast growing population like Nigeria is to have state police to complement the efforts of security agencies at the federal level,” he said.