A coalition of House of Representatives members, known as the ‘Reform Minded Lawmakers,’ has put forward a sweeping set of electoral and constitutional reforms, which include a proposal for a single six-year term for the President and Governors. These reforms are encapsulated in various bills currently under consideration by the House.

During a press conference held in Abuja on Monday, Rep. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere underscored the urgency and necessity of these reforms. He emphasized that constitutional and electoral reform has been a pivotal issue in Nigeria since its independence from Britain in 1960. Over the past five decades, debates around this topic have sparked unrest and exacerbated religious and ethnic divisions.

“We are a group of reform-minded lawmakers dedicated to using the legislative process to transform Nigeria and its political system,” Ugochinyere declared. “Our current political arrangement is marred by identifiable distortions, defects, and limitations that demand immediate, focused, and realistic attention. This initiative aims to address these pressing issues through political and electoral reform.”

Reflecting on Nigeria’s tumultuous history and missed opportunities, Ugochinyere stated, “As the initial step in our commitment, we are presenting a series of bills and proposals to the public, which we are actively pushing in the 10th Assembly. We have already completed the first reading of these 50 bills. Today, we are unveiling six, with more to follow in the coming weeks.”

The key proposals put forth by the lawmakers include:

1. **Rotation of Executive Powers:** An amendment to the Constitution to mandate the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones. This aims to ensure equal representation and mitigate the agitation for state creation.

2. **Formal Recognition of Geopolitical Zones:** Amendment of Section 3 of the Constitution to formally acknowledge the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones, enhancing regional representation and governance.

3. **Single Six-Year Term for President and Governors:** An amendment to the Constitution to establish a single six-year term for the President and Governors. This measure is intended to reduce government spending, increase governance efficiency, and promote national stability.

4. **Introduction of Two Vice Presidents:** The proposal includes creating two Vice Presidential positions—one from the southern part of Nigeria and the other from the northern part. The 1st Vice President would be designated as the succession Vice President, while the 2nd Vice President would oversee economic affairs and serve as a Minister.

5. **Aligned Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidacies:** A constitutional amendment to ensure that the President and the 1st Vice President are from the same region (north or south). The 1st Vice President would assume the presidency in the event of the President’s incapacitation.

6. **Financial Autonomy for Local Government Councils:** Establishing an independent Consolidated Local Government Council Account managed solely by Local Councils. The proposal includes stringent penalties, including long-term imprisonment, for the misuse of Local Government funds.

The coalition believes these reforms are crucial for addressing Nigeria’s historical and ongoing challenges, creating a more stable and efficient governance structure.

In addition to these six proposals, the Reform Minded Lawmakers emphasized their broader agenda, which includes reforms touching on all aspects of national development and economic sectors. They aim to use legislative measures to significantly enhance Nigeria’s governance and well-being.

The press conference concluded with a call to action for the Federal Government and National Assembly to act swiftly on these proposals. The lawmakers stressed the importance of these reforms in fostering a more equitable and effective political system, ultimately benefiting the entire nation.

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