Nigeria needs decentralisation not ‘turn-by-turn’ presidency – Prof. Kila

A Professor of Strategy and Development, Prof. Anthony Kila ,says most of Nigeria’s problems will be surmounted if power devolves from the centre to the states or regions.

Kila, Director-General/Founder, Commonwealth Institute for Advanced and Professional Studies (CIAPS), said this an interview with NAN in Lagos on Sunday.

According to him ,power decentralisation will promote the country’s development and not the proposed  rotational presidency or “turn -by- turn” presidency.

He said every region ,and even state, is desperate  to produce the president because the centre is too strong and attractive.

The don said decentralisation would discourage agitations by regions to produce the president as it would empower units, such as states and regions, to deliver development.

Kila said rotational presidency could  lead to what he called generational apathy and that it would not promote nation-building.

“What we need to develop  is stronger states of the regions .When the states  of the regions are strong and the centre is weak,people will not think of that centre anymore.

“The other thing we need to do is to diversify our aspirations. We need to let children grow up, not everyone wants to be a politician. Let us have journalists, judges, painters, teachers and manufacturers that are as important as the president.

“Let us pursue other aspirations that  will earn  us enough money and enough authority , so that the push and attraction to become a politician or the president  will be less. Nobody talks about the rotational presidency of a company because it is  purely based on  merit.

“Those who care about Nigeria need to work towards nation -building based on fairness, diversity of aspirations and decentralisation of power.

“So rotational presidency is a good intention, but it is a dangerous consequence. It is also moved by good intention, but it can also lead to generational apathy,” he said.

Kila noted that those calling for rotational presidency had ,sadly,come to the conclusion that  it was impossible to have a nation where everyone is one, regardless of tribe or ethnic background.

The don said the proponents of the idea erroneously believed that the problems of the country could solved by “turn-by-turn” presidency.

He said it was unfortunate that the political class had not been able to properly build a nation decades since 1960, adding rotational presidency would promote the triumph of ethnicity competence.

“Nigeria has  six zones and and if each zone should have a single term of six-years, which is the proposal,  imagine children born on the same day and they grow up in life, only one would grow up to become the president of Nigeria.

“The next one will have to wait for 36 years because of the rotational presidency. You see, people don’t think that way and that is why democracy tries to make everybody equal.

“So ,someone from my region has gone for presidency, then my generation has lost it. I have to wait for another 36 years and people are not seeing that side.

“That is why equality, merit and fairness are very crucial in democracy. Once you turn democracy into ethnicity and religion, you  have killed the essence of democracy itself in which anybody can strive for anything at anytime”,he said.

Recall that a bill seeking a single term of six years for the President and state governors was brought up recently by 35 members of the House of Representatives.

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