June 24, 2024

Lawmakers Propose Rotational Presidency and Single Six-Year Term

 

A group of 35 House of Representatives members has introduced a bill advocating for a single six-year term for the President and state governors, alongside the rotation of the presidency among Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.

 

On Monday, a coalition of legislators known as the Reformed-minded Legislators announced a bill proposing significant constitutional amendments. This includes a single six-year term for the President and state governors, as well as a rotational presidency among Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. The bill aims to foster national unity and reduce governance costs.

 

Ikenga Ugochinyere, the group’s spokesman, stressed the need for open discussions about Nigeria’s structural issues. “We should not be afraid to meet and discuss our problems, challenges, fears, aspirations, and prospects as a people,” he stated during a press conference at the National Assembly Complex.

 

The proposal also includes the creation of two Vice Presidential roles—one each from the northern and southern regions. According to Ugochinyere, the First Vice President would be a succession vice president, while the Second Vice President would oversee economic affairs. The bill seeks to enhance local government financial autonomy by establishing an independent Consolidated Local Government Council Account, with strict penalties for fund misappropriation.

 

Ugochinyere emphasized the benefits of the proposed changes, saying, “We are proposing to amend Section 3 of the constitution to recognize the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones.” He added that a single six-year term for the President and governors would “reduce government spending and wastage, promote efficiency in governance, and enhance national stability.”

 

The lawmakers are also pushing for electoral reforms to streamline election processes. They propose holding all elections on the same day to cut costs and ensure timely resolution of election-related litigations before the swearing-in of elected officials. “We are advocating for amendments to ensure all election-related litigations are resolved within six months before the swearing into office of the validly elected person,” Ugochinyere added.

 

Awaji-Inombek Abiante, representing Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency, supported the bill, emphasizing the need for a rotational presidency to mitigate regional tensions. “If we cure this defect with this amendment, everybody will be guaranteed their turn, which will strengthen our unity,” he noted.

 

Paul Nnamchi, representing Enugu-East/Isi-Uzo Federal Constituency, highlighted the cost-saving benefits of holding elections on the same day, while Matthew Nwogu, representing Aboh Mbaise Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency, argued that a single term would allow elected officials to focus on governance rather than re-election campaigns.

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