Restructuring: ‘Make Presidency, Governoship Seats Rotational’ – Rep Okwu
Abuja – A member of the House of Representatives, Samson Okwu has said that for ethnic and sectional injustices to be addressed and equity restored for the benefit of all in Nigeria, the ongoing Constitution amendment exercise should incorporate the idea of rotating the offices of the President and state governors during elections.
He said by so doing, minorities in the country would a sense of belonging in a situation where every Nigerian would take ownership of the Project Nigeria in an inclusive atmosphere of unity and fairness.
Representing Oju/Obi federal constituency of Benue State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rep. Okwu stated this in a chat with independent in his office described the recent supreme court judgement ending the 14 months old leadership crisis in the PDP a welcome development.
His words: “Restructuring means a lot of things to many people. To me as an Igede man, restructuring would mean when an Igede man becomes the governor of Benue State, then I will believe that there’s restructuring, so it means different things to different people”.
“However, the recent cry for restructuring is being used as a kite flown by some people and sold to political jobbers. But the most important thing should be that in Nigeria, we need to sit down, we need to go back to the table of equity and justice. We need to go back to where our founding fathers started from. Where Azikiwe was supposed to be Prime Minister and he gave way to sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Let us all serve the country first and keep the unity of this country and then look at where we are coming from.
“We also need to look back and see, that are these people cheated? Have they been fairly represented at the National level? But what we are having right now is about restructuring where some people want resources control, others are calling for regional government while some are also demanding additional states.
“The issue is that let there be fair hearing on the agitations. We must listen to those shouting restructuring. And we must also listen to those who don’t want restructuring, we must come back to the table. But the issue of setting up another conference to waste tax payers money, I’m not in line with that because, whether you like members of the National Assembly or not, whether you like the composition of the national conference set up by the former president or not, the truth is that we cannot bring an angel to come and rule this country. It must be a human being, and whoever you bring on board, there must be opposition
“In the last Assembly, we tried to put it in the constitution amendment to the states that the seat of governor should be made rotational among the 3 senatorial districts, but it was rejected. They voted against it, and that is one key aspect. When we rotate the governorship and the presidency, then the minority would be in a position to aspire for any office, no matter how high it is”, he said.
On the supreme court judgement, the chairman House committee on Air Force stated that freeing the PDP of all legal encomberances as the apex court had done was good for Nigeria’s democracy which puts the ruling All Progressives Congress on its way out of power come 2019.
“You can see than Nigerians are fed up with the APC. Nigerians are looking for PDP. Nigerians are looking for a party that will unite this country, a party that will form a government of national unity. A party that forms a government that everybody is represented, a party that form a government that we can say that everybody will have a say, a situation where we will see that everybody is equal before the rule of law, that is what people are looking at. It’s not a government that comes to fight corruption, and in fighting corruption, they are sectional in corruption fighting that nobody has been convicted till today. It shows that they have failed.
Asked if his assertions mean that there is nothing good about the ruling party at present, he said, “the people voted for APC because of the integrity of Mr president. I know the president has integrity, I’m PDP but I know that president Muhammadu Buhari has integrity. But for now, because all government has its own cabal, the cabal has hijacked the system, therefore making the entire party system a waste for Nigerians”.
On whether there will be room for reconciliation and reintegration of members who left the PDP, given the level of division created by the leadership tussle, the legislator argued that there is no division in the PDP and that what happened was pure politics of interests.
“I don’t really see that as a division in the party. There were two people that fought for the leadership of the party. The one whom NEC approved his leadership at a time that he was given three months, and the one that got is mandate after the former executive was dissolved and then made to head the party on a caretaker basis.
“For that reason, we were just playing politics, party is about politics, so people were looking at their options saying, can I be here or there, which one is likely to win. And in the end, PDP governors came together a week before the ruling to say that whichever way the judgement went, the party would remain united. And that all of us would come together as one.
“Majorly the organs of the party are the NWC, the Governors Forum, the National Assembly (Senate and House) caucuses, the Board of Trustees (BoT) and the National Executive Council (NEC). These are the organs of the party, and we are in one place. So in the struggle for position, people looked at where their state executives tilted toward, because every politics is local.
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