By Osa Amadi-Mbonu
In this interview, Odion Obumese, author of “Tradocracy: An alternative and better system of government to democracy” explains his motivations for the proposal:
What inspired you to propound this new system of government you call tradocracy?
I propounded Tradocracy because of the inadequacies of democracy visible in its structures and institutions. Allowing only one profession – the law profession – to serve as the only arm of government in exclusion of other professions – is one of such inadequacies. Another flaw of democracy is the disallowing of a larger part of the population from completing for political positions because of the huge amount of money a candidate needs to contest election.
Was that why you developed a fourth arm of government you called ‘researchure’ alongside other three existing arms?
Yes, researchure is a new arm of government that will bring equity and equality to all professions. In reality and in practice in most democracies, the Chief Justice of the Federation is regarded in government as the fourth or fifth most powerful man in a country just by being a legal practitioner. The Attorney-General also has the same power as the Chief Justice. This arrangement discredits all other professions that also contribute meaningfully to the service of a nation. So the researchure was developed to address that inequality. The researchure arm is a body of professionals excluding the law profession because law profession belongs to the judiciary arm.
In your book you proposed that contestants in elections shall not be charged money. How is election and electoral process going to be run without money?
The main reason for election is to select competent and capable leaders that will rule over the affairs of people of a nation. These leaders that shall be selected must understand the basic ingredients of governance, for example, issues of economy, development and welfare. They also need to embrace innovations for the purpose of technology. Putting a tag of money to electoral competition only selects the rich and middle class, disallowing major population that may have competent individuals from competing for political positions.
Sovereign electoral commission shall generate revenue from electoral taxation or levies to run election and electoral processes. It shall also have its own facilities and media houses, both print and electronics. All candidates shall make use of these facilities free for purpose of campaign. Electoral registration forms shall be given out free to interested candidates.
What will be the function of this researchure, and how will the members be elected?
Four members shall represent each profession – the health profession, engineering, arts, etc., for example. Candidates contesting for health positions in the house of researchure shall only be voted for by health professionals, and all other professions follow the same pattern of voting. Researchurers representatives of the house of researchure are sent to agencies of their own professions for research and creativity and also to monitor daily activities of the establishment and the work processes. The researchurer writes down his findings and methodology of work processes including research patterns and take the write-up to house of researchure for approval.
Once approved by the house of researchure, it shall be binding on the establishment to which the researchures were sent. This action will create rapid economic growth and industrial development. Researchurers shall spend three weeks on the field and a week in the house of researchure for deliberation and approval of findings.
In your book, you mentioned the parliamentary police force, researchure police force and judicial police force. Could you please explain what they are?
For arms of government to have full separation of powers they must have independent police forces. This will prevent dominance of one arm of government over the other. All arms of government must also be financially independent. Heads of police forces for arms of government shall be appointed by heads of each arm of government. For example, the President of Senate shall appoint commissioner of parliamentary police. National Police force has no function or jurisdiction with other arms of government because national or state police is under the control of the executive.
Lastly, in your book, you talked about the power of the President and National Onogie. What is that?
The President shall be the head of government and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, while the National Onogie (National Leader) shall be second in command to the president. Both the President and the National Onogie shall sign all bills from Parliament into law. The National Onogie shall be elected from and by upper arm of the legislature, and he or she shall have executive mandate.
The National Onogie shall control traditional ministries like ministries of arts and culture, agriculture, health, and police affairs. But all other ministries shall be controlled by the president including the treasury department and Central Bank. Only the President can create new ministries.