Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Oyo Central District of Oyo State, Chief Oyebisi Ilaka, said it would be better for Nigeria to return to a regional system of government that was in practice in the 60s, describing the current Presidential System now in operation as “too expensive.”
Ilaka, who is also a prominent Oyo high chief, said this in an interview he had with newsmen in Lagos, contending that the system currently in operation right now was too expensive because the money being spent on both the Executive arm and the National Assembly can actually create a lot of schools, hospitals, among others.
According to the PDP chieftain, who promised to push for restructuring of the Nigerian state, in collaboration with people of like minds if elected into the Senate, come 2019, going back to regional system of government would allow regions to have their own independent strategies for development, and grow at their own pace based on comparative advantage.
“This presidential system in my own view is too expensive. The money we spend on both the executive arm and the national assembly can actually create a lot of schools, hospitals and the stuff. I won’t say I have a solution to the restructuring thing really. But I will propose we go back to the regional system whereby we will have a regional parliament and a national parliament.
“Those regions would have their own independent strategies for development, and grow at their own pace. A region can emerge as the food basket of the nation while another as the nation’s technological giant; it’s nobler than this idea of going cap-in-hand to the central to collect monthly handouts,” Chief Ilaka said.
Speaking on his aspiration for his constituents, the PDP candidate said he would pursue with passion creation of wealth for them both in rural and urban areas and also promote technological know-how to the advantage of the teeming youths in the district if elected into office, come 2019.
He, however, declared that he was sure of winning the poll based on the confidence people had in him.
“We want to give people more money for their sweat, in their rural and urban areas. Creating wealth for these people would be something that I will pursue with all passion. We will also promote technological know-how to the advantage of our teeming youths population. People will vote on the basis of who is presenting the best candidate and they know me very well and have confidence in me.
“Besides, I will go to the Senate to legislate on things that will attract development to our teeming youth population, especially as we have in Oyo Central District,” Ilaka stated.
The politician, while speaking on his chances at the poll, said former Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin, who is the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), was no match for him, promising to beat him hands down as witnessed in past poll exercise.
“Teslim Folarin, when he even contested for governor on the platform of PDP in 2015, and I contested on the platform of Accord Party, I scored more votes than him. So these are facts that are available generally. The records of those two- the serving senator in the Oyo Central District and his predecessor are abysmal. And that will be put to scrutiny by the people of Oyo Central Senatorial District.
“So I think I have come to the poll with precisions and projections, and I am connected with our people over a long period of time. I am well known to my people. My brand is stronger because I am with the people and it is what they want that they get. These put me in good stead to win at the polls,” he said.
Besides, he said the PDP, which not a few Nigerians perceived in a negative manner in spite of its legacy projects, had now retooled and left behind the problem of internal democracy that had been its bane in the past, declaring that the recently-concluded primaries and national convention held across the country with little or no acrimony was enough to suggest that the party was back and stronger.
“Well, post-2015, a lot of people felt the party (PDP) which had challenges had been retooled. The problem we had, had to do with that of internal democracy. But from the various primary elections, we have had across the country, with little or no acrimony, you’ll be convinced that the party is back and stronger.
“The challenge we had was the issue of internal democracy, and that has been resolved. What do they mean by saying that for 16 years PDP didn’t do anything? Everybody knows that it is a patent falsehood. One of the achievements of the PDP is that we brought up strong institutions. EFCC, ICPC came through PDP, and it goes on like that. The PDP brought to the fore, different mechanisms of running our economy. It is unlike APC that does not believe in the rule of law,” Ilaka said.