Restructuring: Why 9th National Assembly can’t implement 2014 Confab reports
By Yemi Itodo
Former Spokesman, Nigerian Senate, Dr. Jonathan Zwingina, said it would be very difficult for the current National Assembly to pass the reports of the 2014 National Conference head under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Conference, amongst other things, recommended for the restructuring of the Nigerian federal system of government.
But speaking in Abuja on Monday, at the second annual lecture of the ‘Legislative Digest’, a publication of the National Assembly, Dr. Zwingina said, the conference does not amount to a national consensus.
Zwingina, while delivering a lecture captioned “Consolidating Democracy: Agenda for the Ninth National Assembly”, said that restructuring itself cannot hold unless issues being canvassed got the 2/3 votes of the National Assembly.
He said: “A large number of Nigerians do not really understand what the concept stands for but just seem to agree that it is the answer to all problems even without a clear description of its character. There is some other confusion on restructuring.
“This assumption is wide spread that the President can simply, either revisit the 2014 Conference Reports or convene a similar conference after which an announcement could be made adopting all the resolutions in that report.
“There is deep ignorance about the need for national unanimity and consensus before a major overhaul of the State structure can be undertaken. It must be stated that a national conference, such as the 2014 conference, does not amount to a national consensus because such conference comprising of mostly appointees of the President may not have taken into account the views and interest of other Nigerians.
“Furthermore, such a conference cannot replace the National Assembly which in our democracy is the true representative body of the Nigerian people.
“By simple description, whatever we desire for restructuring must first be accepted by 2/3 of the National Assembly, 2/3 of the State Houses of Assembly before the presidential assent”.
Dr. Zwingina, who represented Adamawa South in the 4th and 5th Senate, also canvassed for the exclusion of political parties that do not have a member in the local government legislative council or state Assembly from participating in the presidential election, saying it is an abuse of democracy.