By James Ezema
EVOLVING workable political reform agenda for Nigeria ahead of 2011 was the basis for the inauguration of the famous Justice Mohammed Uwais political reform committee, which had its fundamental recommendations jettisoned.
Since the committee concluded its assignment, agitations for electoral reform have continued to dominate political discourse, especially among the opposition political parties.
As part of its contribution to engendering political and socio-economic agenda that can guarantee the realisation of the dreams founding fathers of Nigeria, the Movement for Unity and Progress of Nigeria (MOVEUP-NIGERIA) is pushing for a return of the country to parliamentary federalism through its “Rescue Agenda”.
The Chairman MoveUp-Nigeria, Arc. Uchenna Nwankwo who disclosed the group’s agenda at a recent press briefing in Lagos equally revealed plans by the political alliance to actively contest next year’s general elections under a new alliance. He, however, did not disclose the groups that make up the political alliance.
He said: “Having worked tenaciously in the last few months to harness and aggregate a considerable number of individual and group interests and to harmonize these into a collective agenda behind the African Democratic Congress (ADC), we now resolutely and confidently announce to you and the general public the decision of the emergent ADC Alliance to contest the 2011 general elections as a block”.
Arc. Nwankwo therefore explained that “all elective offices from the State & National Assemblies to the Governorship and the Presidency shall be contested by the alliance with the sole aim of fostering credible governments across the country and at the centre that will bring enlightened progressive change in the nation.
“To be sure, we are deeply concerned with the rot and stagnation in the nation. We shudder at the reality that the dreams that informed Nigeria’s quest for independence are not only unrealized but are fast fading away. It is saddening that the slide in the nation’s socio-economic and political standards which has been evident since independence in 1960 has accelerated exponentially over the years to the point that the country now faces certain paralysis.
Obviously, the effects of decades of misrule, greed, corruption and irresponsibility in Nigeria’s official and non_official circles are finally coming home to roost, turning Nigeria into a virtual failed state, a land of misery, anarchy and despair where armed robbery, kidnapping, etc are now commonplace”, Nwankwo lamented.
The MOVEUP-NIGERIA agenda for the rescue of the country from its current woes, recommended Federating Units where “the present partially adopted six geopolitical zones of the country are to be turned into the federating units of the Federation. Each zone is to create as many states, provinces, or administrative units in its area as it deems fit. Revenue sharing to be between the centre and the zones; zones to share whatever they get with their respective states. Similarly, the states are to share whatever they get with their respective LGAs, if this tier is retained”.
For the group, the right system of government for the country is “to return Nigeria to a parliamentary democracy”.
On Immunity Clause in the country’s constitution, the group said: “Immunity from prosecution for serving executive heads of government to apply only to non_criminal matters, aimed at forestalling vexatious litigation that could cripple government business”.
Full agenda for the rescue of the country is contained in its 36-page document tagged “The Agenda of MOVEUP-NIGERIA”.
The group’s chairman explained that the alliance produced the document “for purposes of this occasion an executive summary of our rescue agenda for Nigeria; a concise document that will serve as a window into the thinking of the promoters and members of this alliance, which we believe, will afford discerning Nigerians the opportunity to make a quick assessment of our resolve, focus, commitment and adroitness in the search for an enduring, credible path to Nigeria’s survival and advancement.
It is our pleasure and privilege to present this Paper to you today”.
He maintained that “Ethnic pluralism is the ogre standing between Africa and development. Until this problem is solved through dialogue, openness, commensurate power sharing and equity, no other problem can be usefully addressed.
Peace is a pre-condition for prosperity, and it is only in freedom that people fully mobilize their creative powers. In Nigeria, as in the other African countries, programmes of economic re_construction will continue to fail until we get the politics of national reconstruction right. In other words, the most important reform Nigeria needs is political”.