Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has declared that Nigeria would continue to experience agitations and the emergence of ethnic campaigners except the government protected the citizens and treated every part of the country with justice and equity.
This was even as he affirmed that return to the constitutional foundations of a federal structure as laid down by the founding father remain the only guarantee to a peaceful, secure, and prosperous nation.
In a keynote address delivered in Lagos on Monday at the 2021 Law Week event of the Ikeja branch of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, themed “Building a Nigeria of Our Dreams”, Ekweremady also advocated a hybrid of presidential and parliamentary systems of government for the country.
He explained that while the presidential system remained ideal for holding a vast and pluralistic nation like Nigeria together, features of parliamentary system, such as appointment of ministers from the parliament, “Question Time”, as well as removal of a head of government by a “Vote of No Confidence” rather than a tortuous and convoluted impeachment process in a presidential system, would help to curb presidential excesses and create greater overlap and cooperation between the executive and the legislative arms of government.
On rotational presidency, single tenure, and bicameral legislature, Ekweremadu argued: “Rotational presidency is imperative in our African environment where ethno-religious and sectional sentiments are still high. So, in the higher and long-term national interest, it is time to entrench the idea of rotational presidency in our constitution.
“Also, a single presidential term of five or six years as I have advocated over the years will help us circumvent the distractions, manipulations, divisiveness, and excesses that come with the quest for a second term of executive offices as well as to ensure that power rotates more frequently among the various sections and groups.
“Besides, it is better if every President or Governor understands that he or she has only a term to begin and complete all his or her good works.
“It is also high time Nigeria went for a unicameral legislature, which is far less unwieldy and also cheaper to run. However, in order to maximise the benefit of unicameral and bicameral legislature, membership of such a unicameral federal parliament should be based on equal representation, which is the wisdom behind the creation of the Senate as a second chamber. That way, we will kill two birds with a stone”.
Ekweremadu called for a better management of the nation’s diversity, emphasising that “the turbulence in the country today derives from the concerns of some parts of the country that they have been sidelined and that the Federal Government has failed or even refused to protect them”.
Also on reinventing Nigeria, the former deputy senate president further canvased devolution of powers, fiscal federalism, decentralised policing, restructuring of the local government system, and a return to regionalism with the geopolitical zones serving as the federating units, while the states serve as provinces.
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