Thursday, April 18, 2024

Reps Seek to Stop N’West, S’West, S’South Presidential Candidacy

The House of Representatives is set to consider a new bill that seeks to stop the North-West, South—South and South-West from presenting presidential candidates in the 2027 general election.

The bill is seeking an alteration to various sections of the 1999 Constitution to prevent the three geopolitical zones from presenting candidates in the next general election.

The bill “For an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) to make provisions for rotation of power among the geo-political zones, senatorial zones and federal constituencies in presidential, governorship and senatorial elections in Nigeria,” is currently before the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review.

Sponsored by member representing Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency, Benue State, Ojema Ojetu, the proposed legislation, if passed into law, will bar zones that have produced the President of Nigeria since the return to democratic governance in 1999.

INEC begins review of the 2023 General Elections

The bill seeks to alter Section 133 of the constitution by inserting sub-sections 2, 3 and 4 to the nation’s extant laws.

“The Office of the President of Nigeria shall revolve round the six geo- political zones, with each state holding the office for a maximum of two terms of four years each, to give every section and state in Nigeria a sense of inclusion, participation and representation in Nigeria’s democracy,” a copy of the bill indicated, according to Punch.

It continued: “Any zone in Nigeria which has produced a President of the Federal Republic shall not be eligible to produce another President until the other zones take their turns.

“The effective date for consideration in the rotation of power shall be 29th of May, 1999 when the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) became effective.”

The bill, according to Ojotu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also seeks alteration to the 1999 Constitution with the insertion of sub-sections 6 and 7.

In (6), the proposed law provides that “The office of the governor of a state in Nigeria shall revolve round all the three senatorial zones in the state, to give every indigene of the state a sense of inclusion, participation and representation in the development of the state; while (7) states that “Every senatorial zone in a state which has produced governor of that state in a democratically conducted election shall not be eligible to produce a governor, unless and until other senatorial zones produce governors of the state.”

That is not all as Ojotu’s proposed legislation also seeks an alteration of Section 48 of the Constitution with the introduction of sub-sections 1 (a) and (b).

1(a) provides that “Senatorial election shall rotate round all the federal constituencies in the Senatorial zone to give a sense of inclusion, participation and representation in the constituencies to engineer social progress and development;” and (b) says that “Every federal constituency in a Senatorial district which has produced a Senator shall not be eligible to produce a Senator, unless and until all other Federal Constituencies produce a Senator.”

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