Home OPINION COMMENTARY Rotational Presidency: Solution To Nigeria Political Crisis, By Hamzat Ajayi Omeiza

Rotational Presidency: Solution To Nigeria Political Crisis, By Hamzat Ajayi Omeiza

Hamzat Ajayi Omeiza
Hamzat Ajayi Omeiza

It is an infallible truth that the quest for the control of the central government has been the remote cause of the major political crisis in Nigeria since its emancipation from the shackles of British colonialism in 1960.

This has manifested in different ways such as: coups and countercoups, civil war, religious crisis, and in recent years, insurgency.
The faulty nature of the Nigerian Federalism which projects centralization rather than evolution of powers, over-centralization and concentration of resource control at the centre rather than state autonomy and over lucrativity of the federal government which contradicts the ideal federal principle has intensified the struggle for the control of the central government by the federating units.

The genesis of this faulty federal structure of the country and its resultant fierce struggle for leadership at the centre is traceable to the period of infiltration of the military into the Nigeria political scene. The military from January 15th 1966 to October 1st  1979 invaded the Nigerian political scene and returned in December 31st  1983 after a brief moment of democratic experimentation until the final return to civil rule in 1999.The military introduced a hierarchical command structure of the military into the leadership of the country which are hitherto constituted a serious problem bedeviling the Nigerian federalism with seemingly no solution in sight .Prior to the encroachment of the military into the Nigerian politics which made the federal government too lucrative and attractive to all, through the centralization of resource control, the
quest and struggle for the control of the federal government was minimal.

For instance, the premier of the old northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, repeatedly turned down the invitation to govern at the center. He chose rather to limit his leadership to the northern region. At this time, the regions enjoyed autonomy.
Having failed to adopt an ideal federalism as adopted by the United State of America, Nigeria in the quest to overcome its political crisis has no alternative than to adopt a rotational presidency among the existing six geo-political zones of the country. Rejecting this political arrangement on the ground of being undemocratic and contrary to the American democracy is not in the interest of Nigerians. This is because democracy ceases to be democratic when it fails to promote the interest of the masses and to ensure their peaceful co-existence.
Also, Nigerians must be conscious of their peculiarities of ethnic and religious diversities in the quest for democratization and should domesticate democracy in line with them rather than merely adopting American democracy.
Rotating the presidency among the exiting six geo-political zones of Nigeria will not only reduce the political tension in the country, it will also strengthen and consolidate the unity of the country. Rotational presidency if adopted in Nigeria, will not only reduce the fear of domination of the minor ethnic groups by the majors ones, it will eliminate the ceaseless needs for sovereign national conferences which have not only engendered the waste of national resources but has also failed to solve the problem  bedeviling the nation. Indeed, the only way forward for the emancipation of Nigeria from the shackles of socio-religious and political crisis that have threatened  the peace and unity of the country over the years is to adopt the principle of rotational presidency, as presidency remains the only common heritage of all Nigerians. [myad]

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