VC proposes six VPs in a new federal system
The Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Professor Eghosa Osaghea has proposed the establishment of the office of six vice presidents in the country whenever the current clamour for the restructuring of the country receives the nod of the Federal Government.
The professor, also a political scientist said the creation of the position of six vice presidents would reflect the country’s six geopolitical zones, which in his view would answer the question of equal representation and also help to assuage the thirst for the centre.
On the clamour for the implementation of the 2014 National Conference Report, the Vice Chancellor believes that restructuring could not be fully addressed based on the 2014 exercise alone.
Rather, he called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a ream of experts in constitutional law, federalism and other related profession to go into the archive to dust out reports of similar conferences in the past under the various leaders, synchronise and harmonise them into one invaluable document which would serve as the compass for the national turnaround exercise.
The political scientist, whose specialty is federalism, spoke with The Guardian shortly after his presentation at the recent public lecture to mark the first anniversary of the Eighth session of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
The event hosted by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, was also used to modestly showcase the achievements of the House in the last one-year; especially how the assembly had been a purveyor of good governance during the period under review for the people of the state.
The erudite scholar further proposed a governor general for each of the five zones, with the constituent states and the governor intact. According to him, the state structure has come to stay and no state would be ready to lose its further existence to the super structure of a zone.
In his view secession is no longer fashionable, insisting that the current secession threat is not a sincere clamour, but that the sincere message current agitators for secession be they MASSOB, the Niger Delta Avengers or any other group with similar clamour were passing, is that they are marginalised and that the centre is too powerful.
This arrangement in the long run, would make the zones and the states more attractive for competition for power while the centre would become less attractive.
Eghosa, who noted that most advocates of restructuring were equally clamouring for a new constitution to be written, said they got it wrong, affirming that restructuring
could be effected using the current Nigerian constitution.
The professor blamed the present prostrate state of most of the federating states on the governors whom he said had refused to test the will of the Constitution with the federal government on a number of items contained in the Separation of Power document, most of which in his view are contentious.
Governors he said must identify and acquaint themselves with the fundamental operating principles of the federal system, top among which he said was that the concept is about power bargaining and not a master-servant affairs as presently operated in the country.
The VC was however full of praises for Lagos State which he singled out as the only state in the federation that had continuously contested the power list with the Federal Government on a number of fundamental matters.
Obasa had announced to the audience that the House within one year had a record of passing 80 resolutions and turning seven Bills into laws. He also disclosed that nine private members Bills were introduced on the floor of the Assembly, one of had been signed into law while the rest were at various stages of passage. The speaker initiated four of the bills.