- Wants return to regionalism
By Lawrence Olaoye
A delegate from Anambra state at the ongoing National Conference and a former governor of the state, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has suggested that the 2015 general election should be suspended should the Confab require more time to finish.
Ezeife, while answering what becomes of the general election should the Comfab clash with it said “It is important to think, to ask this quation: what happens if the time requirement of the National Conference clashes with the 2015 elections timetable? That is, if the Conference requires more time than envisaged and threatens the 2015 election. Do we suspend the Conference and go for the election or do we continue with the conference and push up the election? In Igbo, we say that one must first secure the space (land) before the mat. It makes sense to suspend anything about the election, if it clashes with securing the performance of One Nigeria. The National Conference may indeed, play the role of fuse in the political system.”
“This problem must be solved to the satisfaction of all. The states in each zone must, on the principle of unanimity in decision making, agree on the form of regional/zonal government or authority or commission.
“And any future change/amendment to that agreed arrangement must also be based on the unanimity principle! This should remove or reduce the resentment. The models for zonal arrangement are these:
“Regional government as they were known in the past -Regional/zonal Government in which the governors in the zone rotate leadership/headship; and a common services Commission in which the governors of the zone take turns to chair the Commission.
Ezeife said some form of regional government becomes imperative because of the need to maximize the growth potential of the zones – exploting economies of scale, competition, integrative impacts of developing at difference paces, stake in government and its anti-corruption effects etc.
He said if in spite of all the efforts, some states still do not agree to any regional/zonal arrangement, a system of federally administered states could still be developed.
The former governor of Anambra State said some people or groups prefer the Presidential system to Parliamentary system merely because of the requirement that for one to win as President, he/she must win 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 of the states of the country.
The proponents of this view believe that this requirement makes their group more important in the system – because of the many states they have. Now, in the new parliamentary system, it should be required that for a party or coalition of parties to win, it must win 25% of the votes cast in two thirds of the states. This completely removes that ground for the preference of one system over the other.