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Afe for Vanguard

Proposed Cattle Colonies and inevitable acquisition of land: Legal implications

“As herdsmen are in reality business men engaged in the business of cattle rearing for their own personal financial gain I do not see how the provision of land for the grazing of their cattle, even at the payment of a fee, would satisfy the provisions of the law if the land is acquired from other private individuals”.

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Nigeria’s overdue experiment with the Presidential System of Govt

“The application of the American presidential system in Nigeria has been nothing but a huge failure.We simply cannot afford 36 Houses of Assembly, 36 Cabinets of Commissioners, large number of State Legislators, National Assembly of more than 400 Legislators, thousands of staff for all these offices, over 40 Federal Ministers and numberless staff and assistants”.

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Recurring delay in passage of Budget: Matters arising

“The Chilean constitution mandates that the executive provide the legislature its budget 60 days before the end of the fiscal year. While this time- frame is comparable with a number of countries, the consequences of Chilean legislative inaction are especially significant. If the legislature does not approve the budget within 60 days, it automatically becomes law in its entirety, thus under- cutting the leverage of the parliament. I have no doubt that the same can be replicated here in Nigeria”

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Bridging the gap between the rich and the poor: Priority for candidates

It is written that man cannot live by bread alone. In 1789, a sudden rise in the cost of bread from Eight (8) Sous to Twelve (12) Sous was enough to propel a large percentage of the citizenry of France, who before then had endured the pains of a harsh economy, worsened by enormous war spending, towards a revolution which ultimately resulted in the historic Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The French Revolution was therefore not only a means of bringing about political change but also a mechanism by the poor of the French society for improved living conditions and a change in general economic fortune.

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House of Representatives’ rejection of electronic voting for 2019

On the 31st of May 2018, the House of Representatives rejected moves for the adoption of electronic voting during the upcoming 2019 general elections. The House took the decision whilst considering the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the long title of which is, “A bill for an Act to amend the provisions of the Electoral Act, No. 6, 2010 to further improve the electoral process and for related matters.”

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Political party finance and godfatherism (2)

Last week, I discussed the concept and impact of godfatherism in Nigerian politics as it relates to the internal democracy of political parties. I outlined the origin of godfatherism with emphasis on how the major political leaders of the first political republic were interested more in the performance of their protégés rather than whatever pecuniary gains their support for the said protégés would otherwise have attracted to them. Last week in particular, I linked the advent of godfatherism as we know it to questions relating to the formation,structure and funding of political parties.

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Nigeria in search of a nation (2)

Nigeria was admitted to the comity of United Nations in 1960. By virtue of Article 4(1) and (2), Nigeria is a State. Our fathers who fought for independence meant well and acted well. They bequeathed to us the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions that with time would make the different nations in Nigeria to eschew tribalism and permit the evolution of unity among all nations and tribes in the country as well as the emergence of one nation from many.

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Recurring problems in local government administration: Zero party as basis for election to local govt council (2)

Last week I began an examination of the problems which have adversely affected the smooth operation of Local Governments in Nigeria and how they have as a result been unable to serve the purpose of bringing government close to the people. I stated how such problems led to the recommendation of the last Constitutional Conference for a removal of the 774 Local governments from the Constitution. The recommendation attracted much debate and opposition most notably from the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees which staged a protest march on the National Judicial Institute, the venue of the Conference. Members of the Union expressed a fear for the loss of their jobs and means of livelihood amongst others.

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Recuring problems in local government administration: Need for lasting solution

Most Nigerians are now familiar with the sight of road blocks set up by Local Governments to collect one form of tax, levy or rate as the case may be. These road blocks can be found within most cities and on inter-state highways. The Local Government officials assigned to these road blocks in most cases menacingly demand payment of all manner of fees from drivers of commercial and private vehicles. Some Nigerians who have been bold enough to challenge their authority have often come away with one sordid tale or the other. Most Local Governments justify these road blocks – which they conveniently label as revenue generation drives- with the excuse that they need to shore up their dwindling allocations from the Federal and State governments in order to perform their constitutional functions. Yet it is generally agreed that most Local governments have despite their ubiquitous revenue generation drive, failed to make meaningful positive impacts on the lives of Nigerians. Designed to bring the positive effects of governance to the populace, they have on the contrary brought more hardship owing to their failure to attend to the most basic of their functions and duties. Many reasons have been adduced for this failure. There however appears to be little consensus as to the way forward to get Local Governments to function in the manner required of them.

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