Suspend 2023 elections, set up interim govt, Afe Babalola tells Buhari

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Afe Babalola has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the 2023 general elections and set up an interim government for the country.

This, according to the educational entrepreneur, in a statement in Ado Ekiti on Monday, would birth a new truly people’s constitution for the country.

He warned that if the 2023 elections were conducted, it would recycle the same crop of leaders that would plunge the nation further into bankruptcy, economic depression, and insecurity.

“To save Nigeria from nose-diving into irretrievable bankruptcy and poverty, irreparable economic and political damage brought about by the 1999 constitution and its beneficiaries, a new constitution is imperative before any election,” he said.

“I, therefore, strongly advocate that we should postpone the 2023 elections until the Interim Government put in place after the expiration of Buhari’s government has put in place a new truly People’s Constitution.

“I am not in doubt that any election conducted under the 1999 Constitution and under the prevailing economic depression and insecurity will lead to a return of most of the failed leaders who are responsible for the near bankruptcy of Nigeria today.

“No election under this constitution will bring about young men, brilliant and intelligent Nigerians who want to serve without taking money. I suggest that there should be a body at the local, state and federal levels that will screen whoever wants to be elected not the so-called primaries they are doing now.”

Babalola, who had previously described the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution as a futile exercise, said the proposed People’s Constitution would provide a true federal system of government for Nigeria.

He also hoped that the new constitution would provide “for part-time legislators and not full-time legislators where there shall be no salary but sitting allowances only”.

Babalola also spoke on the nation’s economy, saying Nigeria was heading into bankruptcy.

He berated the government for the increase in external debts without a sustainable means of servicing them.

He blamed the mismanagement of the economy on wrong people elected into various offices in the country.

“We have nosedived into that low ebb locally because of the mismanagement of the economy because of the wrong people you put there. If you put the right people there, they will not go about borrowing without thinking of how to pay it back.

“Anybody who wants to borrow must have a source from which he is making revenue to be able to pay the loan he took. Nigeria is already bankrupt. The government is borrowing more, spending more but earning less revenue. The worse thing is that the debt servicing level is also rising,” he added.

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