How About 3 Sitting Presidents For Nigeria? By Tony Ogunlowo

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President Muhammadu Buhari

The 2019 Nigerian Presidential elections are just around the corner and the electorates 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! Even though 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 ungovernable nation.

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