Canada, Constitutional Law, Government, History, Human Rights, Law, Nigeria, Politics, Public Relations, Social Justice, Social Responsibility, Sociology, Sustainable Development, Uncategorized

A MEMORANDUM ON ROTATIONAL PRESIDENCY IN NIGERIA.

This memorandum was submitted and admitted as one of the memoranda complied at the 2005 National Conference in Nigeria, it had been written a few years before. It was first published in a Nigerian National Daily Newspaper on the 29th June 2005. The intention behind this memo was to solve one of Nigeria’s recurring political decimal, which could also be applied at other levels of Government.

Find below a re-production of the article:

‘MEMO TO CONFAB ON ROTATIONAL PRESIDENCY:

A BI-TRIANGULAR ARRANGEMENT 

By Bernie Omatsola Grant

Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 

WHAT IS THE BI-TRIANGULAR SYSTEM?

The Bi-Triangular system is a system of rotation of the presidency of the Nigerian Federation (subsequently referred to as the Federation) that takes cognisance of the principle of equity, equality, fairness and justice. This concept is a system that is established on cultural, historical, political and inter-ethnic foundations and realities of the Federation.

It is based on the six geo-political zones/regions taking into cognisance the foundation of the federation, which was built on the North and the South and further recognizing the various blocks that exist within the two major areas of the Federation.

ILLUSTRATION

This system makes use of imagery, i.e. we are to imagine two triangles, each super imposed, one on Northern Nigeria and the second on Southern Nigeria.

Based on this formula, the presidency of the federation should be rotated.

EXPLANATION

The system should firstly rotate between Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria and vice versa every five years. Then the three zones in each region would also rotate the office when it comes to the turn of that region, based on the six zones of North-West,   North East, North-Central, South-West, South-East and South-South. For example, the South West, it can be said has it at present.

It will then be the turn of the North at the next change of power, then the decision of which zone gets it would be made, presumably   North-East. Then when it rotates back to the South, the South-West would be out of contention for the position (i.e. knocked out)   and a decision as to which of the remaining two zones of South-East and South-South would be made. Then when it goes back to the North, a decision as to which of the zones, apart from North-East, would get the next slot either North-West or North-Central,   let’s say North-Central. Then when it is the South’s turn, if we say the South-East had it the last time, then the South-South would   produce the next President. When it would be the North’s turn, naturally North-west would get it. (This line-up/set-up should not be taken as conclusive; it is left for Nigerians to decide).

A sort of time-table would have been created starting with the South-West, North-East, South-East, North-Central, South-South, North-West, whereby on the expiration of every zone’s tenure, the South-West would again start the process.

This creates equity, continuity, unity, stability and sustenance of the Federation and final death knell to the Political Power Problem (P.P.P) in Nigeria. 

CRITERIA

For this system, to succeed and be lasting.

For there to be a reduction or total elimination of cries/fear of marginalisation, which leads to the unnecessary bickering and hunger for power.

For there to be an avenue to solving the problem of alleged power imbalance i.e. the power riddle.

Some fundamentals have to be entrenched into the constitution of the Federation, i.e. be the Nation’s grundnorm, namely;

1) Five (5) year single term for the office of the president of the Federation.

2) Rotational Presidency along six Geo-political Zones

3) Six (6) Geo-political zones should be entrenched into the constitution, so there would be no tampering or altering.

ARGUMENTS

1) On implementation, this system would solve the minority question in Nigeria. Thereby creating a real sense of equality and equity.

2) The system would also create a true sense of belonging. Every section of the Federation would feel they were true stakeholders, with a right to the highest office in the Land (as of right), as entrenched in the constitution.

3) This system would also to a large extent solve the issue of military incursion into the governance of the Federation, whereby a time-table of sorts would have been created and no section of the federation would reasonably want to tamper with the time-table, as this will disrupt or permanently impede their progression to the office.

4) The (5) year single term is a necessity for various reasons:

a) It would ensure a complete rotation in thirty (30) years, when the circle/ rotation would start again. This would save us the situation, where we now find ourselves still searching, after forty-four (44) years.

b) It would also solve the desperate tendency of Incumbents wanting to retain power at all costs, which would further divide and impoverish the country, i.e. treat/ address more dissent.

5) This rotational system has been used, to favourable results in Canada, one of the present world’s solid, enduring and formidable democracies. This is a country that has two main divisions/blocs, the English side and the French side. In spite of this, they have been able to establish themselves as a leader in the comity of Nations of the World. The recent hand-over/rotation of power from Jean Chretien (a French Canadian) to Todd Martin (an English Canadian), shows the magnanimity, sense of equality and unity of the people of Canada, devoid of/ without any bitterness, rancour or cheating.

6) Adoption of this system would create a solid foundation for Nigeria to build upon and if truly implemented with all sense of   fairness, would make Nigeria a great example to emulate, especially within Africa, then to the world.

7) This system would allow the Federation to solve its Political Power Problem (P.P.P) and enable the country and its leaders to concentrate on nation building i.e. improving the economy and standard of living of the citizens, without distractions.

8) if we are to accept that Nigeria is made up of over a Hundred tribes/ethnic groups, dividing ascendancy to the office of President among six major blocs/zones, should not be a problem and should be seen as a way of creating a Nigerian style democracy that respects its uniqueness and cultural/tribal proliferation, all for the love of our country, Nigeria.’

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Economy, History, Nigeria, Oil & Gas, Politics, Poverty, Social Justice, Social Responsibility, Sociology, Sustainable Development, Uncategorized

THE BOOMERANG AND DOMINO EFFECT OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS AND FOREIGN POLICY. (From the archives)

This article had been written in 2005, but it did not get published because it was thought to be too critical and not necessary at that time when Nigeria/ the world was in a boom (Unprecedented High Oil Price), some did not realise that the bubble in sight would soon burst. I have therefore released it from my archives due to the current economic situation, the country finds itself, with the hope that the stakeholders within our polity could derive some lessons and adapt in other to help heal our Nation, Nigeria.

March 2017

‘A few years ago, the writer had on an NTA Maiduguri programme titled ‘Your Rights’, with Babakura Abba, expressed an opinion to Policy Makers on the effect of implementing anti-people policies and attempting to force the bitter pill down the throats of the people, because it could lead to frustration and increase in suffering (attendant).

In the view of the writer, on the International level, issues such as Political Development and effect/ result of various policies as carried out by other nations of the world, should serve as lessons to the Nigerian Government on how to thread, in formulating their own policies.

It was at the interview, that the writer brought to light, that countries such as Brazil and Argentina had already, tried and tested, majority of our Economic Policies (Privatization, Free Market Economy, Devaluation of your country’s currency and Deregulation etc, which could be said to be advise from Foreign Institutions) and they found to their utter dismay, that such advise leads to nothing but impoverishment, sadness, crash of the economy, drastic reduction in the standard of living, creations of oligarchs (a new class of super-rich predatory elements, as it was in Russia), to the detriment of majority (over 90%) of the citizens of the country. In summation, the policies failed woefully in these countries.

This led the countries in South America, to vote out their Governments (whom they held responsible for implementing such policies that had a negative effect on them).

The citizens removed the right-wing capitalist-oriented Governments and totally went in the opposite direction by replacing the Governments with socialist and welfare parties i.e. leftist-oriented parties. This could be said to have happened across the South American States/ Countries.

On psycho-analysis of the citizens of these nation-states, it could be said that something fundamental and devastating affected the psychology/psyche of inhabitants of these countries, that they totally rejected any form of elitist, capitalist and conservative ideology. By their estimation, the representatives of these ideologies (the elites) had failed them, so they went in search of something totally different, in protest.

This brings me to my main topic, ‘Boomerang effect’ and ‘Domino effect’.

What is a Boomerang? A Boomerang, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is a flat V-shaped hardwood missile, used especially by Australian Aboriginals, that is able to return to its thrower. A second definition is a plan that recoils back its originator (back to sender/ back fired).

A Boomerang effect, in terms of policy formation relates to the effects/ result of Government (organisations as well) policies/ action, spiralling back to affect/ haunt the government that put it in place. It could affect the Government either positively or negatively. Positively by applause, positive commentary and re-election, while negatively by harsh criticisms, protests and removal from office (as was carried out in South America).

In terms of the Domino effect, what is a Domino? Domino is a game that is played with 28 small oblong/ rectangular pieces marked with 0-6 pips in each half of the piece.

The Domino effect/ theory is one whereby, one event precipitates others, in causal sequence.

A Domino effect, on the other hand, highlights the negative, more than the positive. This is a situation whereby on the occurrence of a fundamental event of monumental proportions in one country (for instance a change in government like voting out of a ruling party and its leaders), the trend set by the first country spirals to other similar disgruntled countries. The pattern if carefully managed, might remain/ be confined to the geographical part of the world it started.

Though if Leaders of the various nations of the World, do not grab the lesson to be learnt from the misfortune of others, the Domino effect could spiral across Continents and Oceans. This could be said to be the situation today, whereby the effect of the South-American experience could be said to have crossed the Atlantic, from South America to Europe, as can be seen from the experience of Spain and France (whose people have changed their Government/ Political leanings, to leftist parties i.e. socialist and welfare oriented), this coming, barely two months, after the advice by the writer.

What are the issues that make for events like the Boomerang and Domino effects on International Politics?

They include uncaring and insensitive leaders, leaders who believe too much in their personal power and thereby discount the fact that a greater authority is in control, since it is said that the voice of the people is the voice of God, people power could be said to be the greatest power in the world we live in. Examples abound throughout history, for instance, the fall of the Roman Empire, the French Revolution, Russian Revolution, the Philippines during the Marcos era, Iran during the fall of the Shah (which brought in the Ayatollah). This could be said to be responsible for the proliferation of Democracy as the foremost system of governance in operation in the world today.

It is in recognition of this fact that Politicians play to the gallery (by doing and saying whatever the people want, in other to gain acceptability), by putting on deceitful/ false appearances and actions.

The main issue for us in Nigeria should be how to avoid the Boomerang and Domino effects. This can be done by adapting the Bolivian experience.

Bolivia is a country in South America, bordering Brazil. The country can be said to be a third-world developing nation, with a high rate of illiteracy and unemployment.

Bolivia is the world’s third largest grower of coca, a plant that has traditional and legal uses among the Indians of Bolivia, but is also used to make cocaine. Bolivia also has South America’s second largest Natural Gas Reserves.

The country operates a Presidential system of Government of a Five year term. The Country possesses an elite class that is so into domination of the nation, that in the last five presidential elections since 1985, congress (the equivalent of the National Assembly) has passed over, the first place winners of National Election, twice (i.e. Abiola style).

The last election of the country, which took place towards the end of 2005, brought a new dimension to the country’s political history. The 2005 election, whose winner starts a five year term on January 22nd, 2006, as Bolivia’s fourth President since August 2002, has former President Jorge ‘Tuto’ Quiroga ( who is backed by Bolivia’s business elite) going up against Evo Morales, a socialist candidate (who is a coca farmer, in the cocha bamba area of Bolivia).

The result of the election was that Evo Morales won and as an Aymara Indian, Morales is seen as a symbol of hope, for many of Bolivia’s long down-trodden Indians, a majority in the country of 8.5 million people.

On psycho-analysis, this could be said to be a total rejection of the elite social strata/ class (those who are supposed to be standard bearers/ show good example and standard), due to their arrogance and domination while in charge of the administration of the country. The People could be said to have totally flipped (American lexicon), because shouts of “Evo, Evo” have taken over Cochabamba, where Morales built his party ‘Movement towards Socialism’ known as MAS, in Spanish, for short.

Such a change affects the fabrique of the society, to the extent, that even the losers realise it, such that the opponent Quiroga congratulated Don (Mr.) Evo Morales, for his electoral victory/ result.

Quiroga said “I congratulate the candidates of MAS. They undertook a good electoral campaign and now is the moment to set aside our differences and look to the future with peace, tranquillity and harmony, among all Bolivians”.

In other to avoid such a situation in our country, Our Leaders should learn from second-hand experiences of other countries like ours (which predominantly inhabit the continents of South American, Asia and Africa) and assist us (the people of Nigeria), in alleviating our problems (social, political and economic), by implementing policies that are beneficial to the country and its citizens.

It has always being the belief of the writer that a combination of capitalist and socialist policies, in one mixture (socio-capitalist system), will get us to our Eldorado. A strict application of any single ideology will always fail. We should learn from the actions of other countries.

For instance, even at the height of the cold war, when the super powers of the West and East were supposedly fighting for supremacy/ applying their ideologies strictly, the western powers of the U.S.A and the United Kingdom still gave social security (money, dole in the U.K and in kind, in form of free and subsidized amenities) to its citizens, every week. Yet leaders of developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America, do not feel that their citizens are deserving of such social security treatment (This is a typical situation of the poor countries, getting poorer, by not getting help, at all), where is the fairness??

Governments should always grade/ assess their actions, by the domino and boomerang effects of the actions.

The Bolivian experience is a good one to learn from even if all it teaches is magnanimity, fairness, sports manly camaraderie, spirit of give and take, acceptance of the voice of God (especially, if the voice of the people, is the voice of God), the spirit of amelioration, amenability and the spirit of making amends.

In conclusion, it can be said that “A word is enough for the wise”, may wisdom be our portion in Nigeria. Amen.

27th Dec., 2005

P.S: In light of the current situation in the world today, where terms such as ‘global meltdown’, ‘Recession’, ‘Bailouts’ and ‘Collapse of Financial Economies/ Banks and Stock Exchanges’ have taken over our Modern 2009 lexicon, where we are inundated with these terms everyday in the media, it makes the writer think that if World leaders in the last 8 years had applied policies along the mixed economy style of a socio- capitalist approach that would have made them better able to manage any downturn in their economies and if developing nations had not just followed totally and completely the economic policies of other nations, like Privatization, Free Market Economy, Devaluation of your country’s currency and Deregulation etc, without looking inwards at their particular peculiarities of their indigenous economy. If developing nations had better regulated economies (which is now the norm in various countries), especially with Western Countries at present Nationalising their economies by buying into large corporations with the aim of better monitoring and regulating of the economy. These are measures for a troubled economy.

Question: When has the Developing Countries Economies not been in trouble? Answer: They have always been in trouble. Therefore Nationalisation or Commercialisation (Not Privatisation) should always be part of their economic strategy, until they become a developed economy and better able to hands off.

The Motto for a developing economy like ours should be ‘Protect your economy’, and protect means to regulate with an eagle eye.

Developing Economies, like Nigeria, should hold on tight to the words of their best and tested Economists like Prof Sam Aluko, and jettison the likes of our follow/ follow Economists, who just follow hook, line and sinker the dictates of some Organisations, who don’t bid us well.

A word is enough for the wise.

Feb 2009′

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History, Human Rights, Philosoph, Philosophy, Social Responsibility, Sociology, Sustainable Development, Uncategorized

Thoughts!

“If society lacks knowledge of history (the good, the bad and the ugly) or has been stripped of relevant and necessary knowledge, that is an injustice on society and generations not yet born. This would go to prove the notion that history is written by winners and/ or for personal gain and advantage, which ends up being a pack of lies/ deceit.
It is the duty of conscientious and upright historians and members of society to relay information in its correct perspective for societal good, so that the right judgement can be made at anytime!
Those who are the current patrons, custodians and guardians of such information which is relayed in the correct format would then become the greater generation, to those gone by!”

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