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Yakasai canvasses constitutional amendment on power rotation, independent judiciary, INEC

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Tanko Yakasai

Elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai has canvassed amendment of the constitution to accommodate power rotation among the six geopolitical zones of the country.

Yakasai, who was co-chairman at an event on true federalism and restructuring organised by the Igbo Leadership Foundation (ILF) in Abuja at the weekend, argued that the idea would engender harmonious coexistence among Nigerians.

He also advocated independent political parties that would not be under the control of any individual or group of individuals in or out of power.

Insisting that the country must allow independent and non-partisan judiciary, he also called for free fair elections to be conducted by a robust electoral commission that will be run by people of proven integrity, experienced, honest and truly independent minded people.

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He described Ndigbo and northerners as partners in progress with complimentary cultural practices who have been interacting with one another from time immemorial.

He said but for the coup led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari that ousted former President Shehu Shagari from power in December 1984, power rotation would have been firmly rooted in the country by now.

He said it was unfortunate that efforts to revive the idea in the fourth republic did not materialise due to the sudden death of late General Sani Abacha in 1998.

Yakasai, who served as national assembly adviser during Shagari’s administration between 1979 and 1984, said it behooved the Ninth National Assembly to live up to the expectations of Nigerians on the issue.

He expressed doubts on restructuring as touted by its proponents, saying it could become a useful tool for those bent on ensuring the disintegration of Nigeria.

“Restructuring is mooted to discard the present federal constitution in favour of a new one, but its promoters are shy of coming out to say so clearly. Restructuring Nigeria has been going on since the constitutional crisis of 1953/1954 London Constitutional Conference.

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“It has been intermittently raised in different forms. For example, during the General Ibrahim Babangida administration, Col Gideon Orkar who hailed from Benue State, declared his intention to expel the North West and the North East from the country in his aborted coup attempt, and this was all part of the grand scheme of those agitations for restructuring,” he stated.

Continuing, Yakasai who is an avowed critic of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration said, “In Nigeria, particularly from around 2015 general elections, I have been hearing and reading those slogans, but I never got the opportunity to know what the details of restructuring.

“I ever read anything on the blueprint of what restructuring entails. It will make a world of difference if the protagonists of the idea take the trouble to spell out its pros and cons.

“If they can do so they will help Nigerians to have an understanding of what restructuring actually means and be able to make up their minds about it. I am weary of political slogans. We have had experience of many political slogans without definitive meaning and I think we should learn our lesson of political slogans from the last general elections.

“Most Nigerians supported the slogan for change, but I am not sure if this country has seen any significant changes for the better since 2015,” he added.

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INECTanko Yakasai
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