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Tasks before the Buhari presidency

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Buhari-11-1-2015

BVuhari

THE immediate task before the incoming Buhari government is to restore unity in this extremely divided country. General Buhari has truly persevered and secured victory at the rougher ends of political struggle in the country; he now needs to win the peace by playing the role of a unifier in this battered country.

There will be two sides to the achievement of this goal – the short and long-term aspects. The short-term aspect of the task before the incoming APC-led Federal Government will involve titular reassurances that despite electoral battles that we have just fought and the lopsided voting pattern that emerged, the Buhari administration would extend a hand of fellowship to all sections of the country through a process that does not discriminate or deprive any section of any rights, privilege and adequate representation in government.

In this regard, it will be difficult and inadvisable for the Buhari government to overlook certain foundations and enactments laid down by the PDP-led governments of the last 16 years in its entirety.

It is expected that the APC government will sift through these enactments and copy or adopt some of them for a smooth running of the country.

In my assessment, one such enactment of the PDP-led government at the centre that cannot be ignored by the incoming APC government is the practice of zoning or distributing six highest offices in government and the party among the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The zoning formula, adopted by the PDP ruling elite since 1999, is founded on the tenet that the following six most important political offices must at any given time be distributed or rotated among the six geopolitical zones in the country.

These are the offices of President, Vice-President, Senate President, House Speaker, Party Chairman and lastly, though not the least, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF).

It is expected that at the expiration of the life of six consecutive governments to be produced in the country from May 1999, each geopolitical zone in the country will have tasted of or held each of these positions once.

There is also the understanding that when the president comes from any zone in the North, the chairmanship of the party would go to a southern zone that has not previously held the position, and vice versa; ditto for the vice-presidency.

This zoning formula was threatened after the 2011 federal elections due partly because the Southwest had few PDP members in the House of Representatives and the revolt by some Northern legislators over the continuation of the Jonathan presidency at a time the Northwest felt Jonathan should have vacated the position and allowed a candidate of Northwest extraction to run for the presidency under the PDP banner.

As a result, the Southwest lost the opportunity to produce the House Speaker, which was duly allocated to the zone. (I had cause to comment on the matter at the height of the zoning palaver of 2011 in an article entitled ‘Calling the Southeast Political Leaders to Order’, published by The Guardian of June 8, 2011.) The orchestrated denial of the position to the Southwest, as it were, was to cause a lot of disaffection and subsequent resentment against the PDP-led Federal Government in the Southwest.

And this contributed immensely to the defeat of President Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election, especially in the quaint middling Southwest.

I imagine that as things are, the APC would want to give every zone a sense of belonging by allocating one of these six important offices or positions to each zone, as has been virtually ‘institutionalised’ by the PDP.

The question that arises now is: Given the fact that the positions of President, Vice-President and party chairman have been taken up by the Northwest, Southwest and the South-South respectively, how does the party allocate and distribute the three remaining offices of Senate President, House Speaker and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) among the three remaining zones – the Northeast, North-Central and Southeast? For the records, in the current Republic, the Northeast has held the position of Vice-President for eight years under Obasanjo and party chairman under Jonathan; the North-Central has held the position of party chairman for eight years under Obasanjo and Senate President for eight years under Yar’Adua/Jonathan; and the Southeast has held the office of Senate President for eight years under Obasanjo and SGF for four years under Jonathan.

Given this scenario, neither the Southeast nor the North-Central qualifies to hold the office of Senate President in the incoming Buhari government.

The position should therefore go to the Northeast. That leaves us with the two positions of House Speaker and SGF. From the records, neither the North-Central nor the Southeast has held the office of House Speaker in this Republic. Therefore, they both qualify to hold the office under the coming Buhari presidency.

But the Southeast will have only two APC legislators in the incoming House of Representatives. It is germane that where the Southeast has a duly qualified person, it should produce the House Speaker, so that the two arms of the federal legislature are headed by a northerner on the one part and a southerner on the other, while the office of SGF goes to the North-Central which has not held the office before.

However, where there is no qualified person from the Southeast for the office of House Speaker, the Speakership should go to the North-Central for now while the remaining office of SGF reverts to the Southeast for at least another four-year stint, given that the zone produced the current SGF who will be completing his four-year tenure by May 2015.

Implementing this action plan should, in my humble opinion, help reassure all concerned and hence, give the government the scope to concentrate effort on the more arduous tasks that beckon for attention and that should lead to the achievement of social, economic and political advancement of the country. • Nwankwo wrote via uchennwankwo@yahoo.com


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4 Comments
  • ogbonwigwe

    Mr Uchenna,

    I was expecting to read your detailed analysis of the Tasks ahead of Buhari’s presidency but ended up reading how you envisaged the six most important government positions by your calculation should be shared among the six geopolitical zones of the Country. I hereby suggest that in as much as sharing those positions should be given adequate consideration, the enormous tasks of nation building ahead of Buhari’s presidency should be given priority by assembling technocrats who are experienced and tasted to deliver the benefits of this landmark general election. APC-led government had promised to tackle corruption,insecurity, dwindling economy and massive unemployment to mention but a few. They should hit the ground running and start by reviewing the salaries and emoluments of members of the National Assembly with a view to streamlining them with economic realities of our Country. A situation whereby these legislators are overpaid with scarce resources while those they represent wallow in abject poverty is insensitive and unsustainable. They should earn modest salaries and emoluments commensurate with their legislative duties in the national assembly. That being said, it is imperative that the incoming administration initiate strategies to commence the long-awaited fight against corruption and develop mechanisms whereby our teeming unemployed youths can get gainful employment.This would invariably help to reduce insecurity and engender confidence and reassurance from the international community for sustainable investment.

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  • burning spear

    BUHARI Is All About FRAUD.

    Everything about Muhammadu Buhari has been all proven to be fraud and deceit.
    **Fake declaration of Assets [150 cows for 12years].
    **Inaccurate Affidavit and lying under oath.
    **Lying that the Military board have his certificate.
    **Forging a School certificate.
    **Lying and claiming to have a Masters degree from US War college in 1980. The College started issuing Masters degree in 2000.
    **using about 6.1Million under-age voters for election victory.
    **Buhari improved on the level of Election rigging, via ballot snatching, mass Thumb printing Ballot papers, falsifying the data on Election results sheets.
    **His supporter that claimed trekking from Lagos to Abuja revealed to be a cheat.WHAT A COUNTRY

  • Lekan Ajasa

    Letter to our new President:

    “Culture Change” from corrupt process and practices at all levels of the governance will not be easy to achieve due to the current level of impunity in Nigeria. To make a positive change happen in the next dispensation would require a 3-year Agenda. My humble suggestion to you and all Nigerians at home and in Diaspora is that each and every one of us must be willing to put in the extra effort to ensure that our communities, government, institutions, and workplaces are transparent and committed to “best practices” around the world.

    My recommendations for the President is to create a Policy and Process Think-Tank Group (PPG) to design, plan, and guide the implementation of the Presidents Change Initiatives for the country. The Group will among others, provide recommendations to the President on the three identified “change initiatives” below:

    • Strengthen institutions that are involved in enforcement of laws and financial malpractices:

    o Reorganization of the existing bodies such as EFCC for example

    o Provide professional training and on-going assessment support

    o Use the SWOT Approach to evaluate the bodies at the end of each fiscal year and review all recommendations at Cabinet meeting.

    • Review the existing policies and practices within the three tiers of government

    and the Public Service to align with the “Best Practices” around the globe:

    o Revenue generation,

    o Procurement policies & Practices

    o Financial practices and Audit expenditures

    o Evaluations of Policies and Practices by a third party every three years.

    • Establish a 12 member Presidential Sector Advisory Committee (PSAC) in each Socio-economic and political sector of the country to consist of professional/occupational representatives.

    Lekan Ajasa – Ontario, Canada.