The leader of the Anambra State delegation to the National Conference, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has said the 2015 general elections should be postponed if it clashes with the National Conference.
“It is important to think, to ask this question: 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,” he said in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
Mr. Ezeife also canvassed the return of the country to the regional system of government with modifications from the type practised in the First Republic.
He, however, said if the states that make up the regions do not agree to any regional or zonal arrangement, a system of federally administered states could be developed.
Mr. Ezeife, a former governor of Anambra State, suggested that the regional government should involve an arrangement where governorship of the each region should rotate among the zones in the states.
“Some people resent a return to regional government. Those most opposed to it liken a return to regional government to the Jews returning to Egypt – to bondage,” he said.
“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 former governor called for a Common Services Commission in which
the governors of the zone will take turns to chair the Commission.
The delegate explained that some form of regional government was forced by the need to maximize the growth potential of the zones – exploiting economies of scale, competition, integrative impacts of developing at difference paces, stake in government and its anti-corruption effects.
Mr. Ezeife also called for a parliamentary system of government.
He said some people or groups preferred the presidential system to the parliamentary system, merely because of the requirement that for one to win as President, he/she must win 25 per cent 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,” Mr. Ezeife said.
“Now, in the new parliamentary system, it should be required that for a party or coalition of parties, he/she 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.”