News

June 10, 2024

Reps move to create office of two Vice Presidents from South, North

two vice presidents

CUPP made the statement through it’s national spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere

…propose single tenure of six years for President, Governors

By Gift ChapiOdekina, Abuja

The House of Representatives has proposed to make a single tenure of six years for presidents and governors and also moved to create the office of two vice presidents from the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria.

The six bills which have passed through the first reading on the floor of the House are sponsored by 35 members of the House.

Speaking to a Journalist during a press conference in Abuja, the spokesperson of the 35 reformed-minded lawmakers, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, representing Ideato North/South federal constituency said that bills, if passed into law, will reduce government spending and wastage, efficiency in governance, and national stability by providing a single term of six years for the President and Governors.

According to him, the lawmakers are committed towards using the instrument of lawmaking to reform Nigeria and the political process he said constitutional and electoral reform has been a burning topic in Nigeria since independence from Britain in 1960, Over the past 50 years, the controversy has led to unrest and a deepening of religious and ethnic divides.

He said, “We should not be afraid to meet and discuss our problems, challenges, fears, aspirations, and prospects as a people,” We should not discuss in fear and we should never fear to discuss,”Today, we are taking a crucial step that will further strengthen our understanding, expand the frontiers of our inclusiveness, deepen our bond as one people under God and build a stronger support that will deepen our democracy and electoral system. We are once again, at the threshold of history.

“History has presented us with the chance to redefine and redesign our political landscape in a direction that would strengthen the bonds of unity, enhance the processes of democratic consolidation, strengthen the structures to solidify those values that promote democracy, good governance and good neighbourliness; and open boundless opportunities for all Nigerians to be, and to feel that they are part of the evolving political process and socio-economic advancement.

“This is equally in line with our realization that our current political arrangement has some identified distortions, defects, and limitations that call for urgent, focused, and realistic attention, hence this initiative on political and Electoral reform. Our history as a nation shows very clearly that we have been through some difficult times. We have missed great opportunities. We as lawmakers of like minds and committed to the 10th House Agenda of building a democracy that works for all using legislative instruments.

“We are a group of over 30 reform-minded lawmakers from different political parties who have come together and are committed to ensuring a working Nigeria using legislative instruments within our power to, ensure the reduction of cost of governance and campaigns, unite our country, ensure a seamless transition, continuity, uninterrupted development, justice, equity, independence of INEC, efficient use of state resources, tackle nepotism, state capture, and corruption in electoral processes, etc.

There is no doubt that our country is in desperate need of a long-lasting solution to our poor economic situation, insecurity, disunity, weak institutions, weak health and education sector, corruption in public sectors, and waste of state resources. We have now reached a critical phase where what is at stake is the very survival of Nigeria as one political and economic unit. We must rise to the challenge, and what we do with this opportunity given to us by our people matters a lot.

“These Bills will touch on every aspect of development in all sectors of our Economy and well-being as a nation. These bills which are 50 in number have gone through the first reading but today we are starting with the public unveiling of about 6 of them while the remaining will come in the weeks ahead. It ranges from governance, economic, security, and justice sector reforms to social bills that will target unifying our nation and ensuring long-lasting peace and national cohesion. The reformers are cognizant of the fact that Nigeria in times past has deliberated on and accepted some of the proposals in the Bills we are presented in several reform processes, including the Justice Uwais electoral reforms, the Senator Ken Nnamani electoral reform committee, the Udoji civil service reform reports, the Confab reports, Obasanjo, Jonathan, IBB, Abacha reform efforts and several others.

“These works by eminent Nigerians including lawmakers before us have been long abandoned despite the time and resources committed to them. It’s time we revisited those reports, adopted some of the salient proposals, and adjusted them to fit the current realities.

“Therefore, the bills presented today will address that proposal on Governance, we are proposing.

“Constitutional Alteration to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones to ensure equal representation and reduce the desperation and tempo of agitation for the creation of states.•

“To amend section 3 of the Constitution to provide for the recognition of the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones.• To amend the Constitution to provide for a single tenure of six years for the President and Governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The reduction in government spending and wastage, efficiency in governance, and national stability by providing a single term of six years for the President and Governors.

“Amend the Constitution to create the office of two vice presidents from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria.

According to him, the 1st vice shall be a succession Vice president, while the 2nd Vice president shall be a Minister in charge of the Economy, and both shall be Ministers.

“Constitutional Amendment to provide that the President and the 1st Vice President shall come from the same part of the country (north or south) and the 1st Vice President shall become President whenever the President becomes incapacitated, i.e., V.P. (Succession), V.P. (Administration and Economy)The financial autonomy and accountability of Local Government Councils by prescribing an independent Consolidated Local Government Council Account solely superintended by Local Councils and prescribing long-term imprisonment for any misuse of Local Government funds.

“To amend section 162(5) of the 1999 Constitution to provide that where a State Government fails to remit to the Local Government Councils within its jurisdiction (or within the State), the amounts standing to the credit of that Local Government in the allocation from the Federation account, such State Government shall not be entitled to receive a future allocation from the Federal Government.

“Electoral Reforms: Elections remain our only democratic means of bringing back sanity in our polity, so we must get our selection processes right. We are proposing Bills to address capture and corruption in our electoral processes.

“Amending the relevant sections of the Electoral Act to ensure that all elections (presidential, governorship, National Assembly, state houses of Assembly, and local governments) are held on the same day.• Amending the relevant sections of the Electoral Act to provide that no declaration of a winner of an election shall be done by the relevant INEC Officials until such officer has compared the results with the list of accredited voters and ensured that the results to be declared are in tandem with the list of accredited voters and the B-VAS machine or any other electronic device.

“Amend the Electoral Act to provide that any INEC Officer who declares a false result will be liable for civil and criminal action personally brought against him by parties in the elections.• An Amendment to the Electoral Act to provide that all election-related litigations must be resolved and determined by the Elections Petitions Tribunal, Appeal Courts, etc. before the winners are sworn into the respective elective offices.

“An Amendment of the Electoral Act to make provision for the conduct and conclusion of all elections and election-related litigation within six months before the swearing into office of the validly elected person for the office contested.

An Amendment of the Electoral Act to provide that all election-related documents and materials must be made available to those who participated in elections and who have reasons to question/petition the elections at the Elections Tribunal.

“We want to conclude this press conference by greeting all Nigerians of all walks of life on this historic day: our men and women in the different sectors of the Economy, our vibrant young people, persons with disabilities, our law enforcement agencies, our traditional rulers, fathers of our communities and custodians of our cultural heritage, our religious leaders, custodians of faith and morals, our effective civil society organizations. This task ahead of us is huge and cannot be achieved without you. It is a task for all of us. Our work does not go beyond taking the initiative to get them into Parliament.

“To ensure that the bills are successful is on us all. Call up all your representatives in the National Assembly and solicit their support for the bills, lobby, participate in the hearings, and use all manner of platforms, digital media, social media, and traditional media to advocate for the passage of these critical reform bills. Ours is a commitment to building a united, stable, and prosperous nation, and with your contribution, cooperation, and support, Nigeria can and must become a great and modern nation. With true conscience and determination, let us join hands and re-dedicate ourselves to the service of this great country so that it will be a place we can be proud of. We cannot afford to fail in this task, and by the grace of God, we shall succeed.

“We ultimately thank our fellow members of the Federal House of Representatives and the leadership of the House, the Abbas/Kalu leadership, for a well-researched and strategic legislative agenda that has inspired us today even as we further seek their support in ensuring we achieve our common prosperity. Salute the Speaker for constituting the Constitution amendment committee chaired by the Deputy Speaker who has the great capacity required in delivering the task ahead. We have confidence in them and our colleagues that our proposals will be supported. May God bless our country, and may God bless you all.