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2023: Democracy and the Leaned Economy -By Reuben Hopo

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We earnestly need a new foundation that can ably translate the hopes and aspirations of all Nigerians than a privileged few across the country. The Nigeria’s economy would experience rapid growth with each of these zones coming up with sound economic policies that may offer a credible alternative to the federal government’s economic proposals.

Except for politicians across the country, Nigerians already have a deep-rooted fear to be worried about “the way forward” in 2023 given the ongoing fourth republic in which Nigerians have had twenty-three years of uninterrupted democratic experience with dividends of democracy amid unprecedented inflation in the economy, widespread hunger, massive job loss and the increased spate of terrorism. With all these antecedents, no single individual today or tomorrow can resolve these hydra-headed crises facing the country. Point blank!

Under the present Administration of PMB it is inevitable to chart a new direction through a small roundtable talk devoid of partisanship amongst notable leaders across the six geopolitical zones under the presidency to look into the undercurrents of the multiple crises which besieged the present political economy and help the president to midwife a way out for Nigeria’s political future, as we anguished towards the 2023 general elections.

The truth is that the federal government has done very well, saves that Nigeria’s woes have outgrown, and at par with the population explosion and the latter is much bigger than the accomplishments of the federal government that might be estimated at a ratio 10% of the population of the country. Thus, Nigerians do not just groan for nothing. The country is really in a tsunami of poverty despite the consistent efforts of the PMB Administration to fund the economy at all costs.

With the nation’s survival at the precipice due to the cost of living and all its attendant consequences, we cannot continue to miss the promised land for too long anymore in a failed democracy that is due to no one’s fault, but collectively. The presidential system has failed and failed again to provide basic survival for Nigerians and put a permanent end to the rising threat of terrorism in the country. The current structure of governance needs an overhaul because of its antithesis. The institution is our general enemy, not any individual.

With the loss of food security as a major challenge confronting overwhelming Nigerians, what are the hope of survival of the masses and how do we navigate into the 2023 general elections? 2023 is no best bet for solving the long-sufferings of Nigerians unless the federal government take a cursory look at the effect of the rising U.S. dollar on the common man and average citizens in the economy. The findings would help to adjudge better that despite all the efforts of the federal government, the masses are not faring better. Hence, the need to go back to the drawing board to chart the way out against 2023 as a lasting legacy for Nigeria and her people to live above poverty and to promote peaceful co-existance. Making a terror attack in Nigeria a forgotten history requires more diligence.

To better manage Nigerians together and strengthen a more virile economy for all, the wisdom is that Nigerians can no longer survive as a single nation but as an integration of six mutually exclusive nations. This is the secret and the way out for Nigerians in 2023. We earnestly need a new foundation that can ably translate the hopes and aspirations of all Nigerians than a privileged few across the country. The Nigeria’s economy would experience rapid growth with each of these zones coming up with sound economic policies that may offer a credible alternative to the federal government’s economic proposals.

With a population of over two hundred million, the solution to the present “lock jammed democracy” is to have a collective agreement for one president for the country and six vice presidents to oversee the affairs of each of the six geopolitical zones in the country. The president would govern the country jointly with the six vice presidents and shall retain the title of being the sole commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The six vice presidents may not necessarily belong to the same political parties to form the presidency and federal government.

Nigerians have a major problem and we need to do away with it urgently to set the country free from the hegemony in different quarters. We are too gluttonous to anything foreign without a quick sense of self-examination to nativise foreign political systems in a way that suits the peculiarities and challenges of the Nigerians’ environment. Let Nigeria have six vice presidents to make each zone a coordinate equal of the others. Enough of this absolute power play. It has been the source of absolute corrupt power and abuse of power in the political landscape. The only way to grow a bigger and more vibrant economy is to isolate absurd power from the democratic system.

Providing more tips for a new political order, the Senate at the centre should be abolished, leaving the Houses of Representatives and Assembly in the various states as the main democratic assemblies for both the federal and state governments. The Senate should be for each of the zones and the composition of its membership should not be on partisanship but strictly on meaningful and recognised interest groups across the country such as the traditional rulers and all professional associations recognized by Acts and Decrees of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The selection and zoning for a fixed term among the diverse group must be determined by the civil service in each of the new Senates. The purpose of the new Senate Assemblies is to check and balance power across the country. On the other hand, the judicial system operating across the country would remain status ante.

The Senate will have a Senate leader and other principal officers as usual, and permanent staff. The vice president in each zone shall preside over the Senate and the vice president and the Senate shall form the government in each of the six geopolitical zones in the country. The new Senate would also take over the functions of the current Senate and shall perform them in a dual relationship alongside the House of Representatives.

Going by the origin of the Senate as a federal necessity in the United States of America, it is a federal arrangement to balance the power of the House of Representatives to avoid bigger States dominating the smaller ones. So, being a senator is not a senior partner to a honourable member of the House of Representatives, but a co-partner in the legislature. The Senate serves no purpose other than this, and as Nigerians, we have come a long way to be mindful of the huge expenses consumed by a senator and the Senate at large. During the first republic, the Senate was a hotbed for political casualties across the country. Nigeria can maintain a credible Senate with low expenses if this institution is shelved to the zones.

Nigeria can only take the lead again in agriculture in Africa to eliminate hunger, poverty, unemployment, promote wealth creation and rejuvenate the economy if we toll this new, well-reasoned political order to eliminate unbridled corruption, indiscriminate waste, inordinate political ambition and “sit-tight syndrome” peculiar within the political class are overbearing on the leaned economy. We would set this country on the right path of good governance and make it a giant in Africa again if we can adopt this new initiative.

These recommendations are achievable in the march to 2023 under six months as a new transition of governance. Let Nigerians hear the loudest voice in their interest to save the country from the impending peril that may confront us again. We must look ahead beyond the impending eight years of the next president in waiting.

Email: [email protected]

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