© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Confab Delegates Vote In Support Of Zoning For Presidency
The National Conference resolved Thursday that, henceforth, the office of the President of Nigeria shall rotate between the North and South and revolve among the geo-political zones.
It also agreed that the office of the state governors shall be rotated among the three senatorial districts of each state while that of the local government chairmen shall to be rotated within the local government areas.
These were parts of the resolutions adopted by the conference while considering the report of the committee on political restructuring and forms of government which attracted intensive debates and lots of amendments.
Delegates also agreed that where the President dies in office, is incapacitated, impeached or resigns, the vice president shall operate in acting capacity for a period of 90 days during which an election to the same office would be conducted.
This decision was taken because each zone is expected to run the full course of the constitutionally allowed tenure without undue disruption. It was also agreed that based on the adopted zoning formula, when a president leaves under any of the circumstances stated above, another president would be elected from the same zone where the previous one came from.
The conference also voted in favour of modified presidential system of government as recommended by the committee, describing it as home-made model of government that combines the attributes of parliamentary and presidential systems.
The concept is believed to have the potentials of entrenching the principle of separation of powers as practiced in presidential system and promotion of co-operation and harmony between executive and the legislature as operated under the parliamentary system.
The President elected under the new system shall exercise full responsibility for his government and shall select ministers, not more than 18 of them, from the six geo-political zones of the country.
It was agreed that henceforth, the minister of finance, not the President as presently obtained, would present the annual budget to the National Assembly.
Under the new arrangement, both the President and the ministers would be expected to appear before the National Assembly to render account of their stewardship on quarterly basis.
Delegates also voted to retain the bicameral legislative system instead of the unicameral proposed by the committee in its report.
The conference also adopted a recommendation to confer financial autonomy on state Houses of Assembly as a way of freeing them from direct control by the executive.
Delegates also voted overwhelmingly on the proposal that each state of the federation should have its own constitution which of course would be subservient to the federal Constitution..
On the creation of new states, conference approved in principle, the eventual creation of 18 additional states across the country as a way of meeting the yearning and aspirations of the people.
Conference said that creation of new states must be backed by their potential viability in terms of economic potential, human, natural and material resources as well as minimum land and water mass.
The envisaged state, delegates agreed, must have cultural and historical affinity amongst its population while the components should be contiguous.