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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

How About 3 Sitting Presidents For Nigeria? - An Article By Tony Ogunlowo

The 2019 Nigerian Presidential elections are just around the corner, and the electorate are going to be faced with the age-old problem of electing one from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (- and I’m not providing any clues to who is who!)

Whoever gets elected will face the age-old problem of tribalism, Corruption and Religious differences that has dogged Nigeria as a nation since 1960. Faced with all these problems, any new President will spend his entire 4-year tenure battling them instead of doing anything positive for the nation: as a result, progress will become stagnant, nothing gets done and all existing problems remain.

Recently, an interesting thing happened in the formally war-torn country of Bosnia and Herzegovina – they elected THREE PRESIDENTS to run the country!

It what seems to be a ludicrous political joke it is aimed at promoting peace and keeping the country together : the position is pro-rata and each elected President will spend 8 months at the helm of affairs before passing on the baton to the next.

Bosnia, just like Nigeria, is a 3-nation state rather than one: they have three major ethnic groups – Bosnians, Serbs and Croats – who rarely get along and lead to the bloody civil war that engulfed the country in the 90’s.

Nigeria has naturally been divided into 3 regions since time began by the Rivers’ Niger and Benue creating the North, the West and the South-East. Also the people are different – the Hausa, the Yorubas and the Igbos – have carved out their own territories; Religiously, Muslims are predominantly in the North and the Christians in the South.

There have been several attempts to carve up the country that led to a civil war and constant civil unrest. Unfortunately we’re still stuck together, Nigeria will always be one nation, kept together by greed (- Oil!) rather than anything else.

The politics of Nigeria will always be dogged by religious and tribal issues so why not have 3 sitting Presidents? This will be a throwback to the past when there was a Premier for the West, East and North only that they will have full Presidential powers. It’ll take a major re-working of our constitution but the results will be worth it( sic – I’m not sure the pro-rata thing will work: they might all have to rule at the same time!)

So the Presidency which is usually the domain of a single person will be de-regulated to accommodate three and the position of Vice-president will become obsolete. So, at the same time, you’ll have a Yoruba President, an Igbo President and a Hausa President – all with equal powers- running the country; hopefully from different political parties! Eventhough their different ideologies and inability to control corruption might still be a problem.

So instead of the Federal Republic of Nigeria you’ll have  the Confederation of Nigeria where all will come together for the betterment of  the country(- perhaps?) and all major ethnic tribes will all be equally represented at Aso Rock. So nobody will be able to complain when things are bad and not working because there’s a Muslim, Christian, Northerner or Southerner as President.

Considering Nigeria has tried every form of government known to Man in an effort to find what is suitable to us  - parliamentary, military dictatorships, federal( we haven’t tried communism or socialism yet but if we do its obvious who the Fat Cats will be!) – to no avail, having 3 sitting Presidents wouldn’t go amiss in our efforts to find a viable way to govern an un-governable nation.

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