Why Nnewi Indigene Can’t Be Anambra House Of Assembly Speaker
Call for amendment of Nnewi Constitution
The Culture of terminating representation in the legislature for the Reason of clamour for rotational representation has really done a serious damage to the Performance of legislators in Nigeria.
The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requires legislators to gain the requisite experience to effectively discharge their Mandate, that is the major reason why there is no limit in the number of times a performing legislator could be reelected.
However, the electorate have right to elect or reelect a legislator.
In Nigeria unfortunately, Zoning/Rotation of elective Position seems to be a generally accepted Democratic Process because of our sharp division in ethnic and Religious lines but for Progressive Nigerians, Zoning/ Rotation remains the twin evils that throw up highly unqualified Politicians which has led to lack of performance.
In the industrial City of Nnewi Anambra State, Zoning and Rotation of elective Office especially as it concerns House of Assembly Seat has deprived Nnewi good and quality Representation in the Anambra State House of Assembly.
The Rotation principle in Nnewi approved in Nnewi Constitution Section 6.3 Sub Section 3 which stipulate that if Nnewi Town has only one seat at the State house of Assembly, the seat will be zoned to umudim and that it will be rotated in the order of Nnewichi, Uruagu, Otolo, and then back to umudim and then go round again.
This law which was made to ensure Peace during the Crisis in the late 90s which threatened the Unity of the Town has achieved and as well outlived its Purpose in view of present Realities.
Zoning may not be a bad idea in its entirety but it has done more harm than Good to the progress of Nnewi especially in the Area of the performance of Nnewi legislators who are only allowed a single term of Four years to represent the Town.
Some of our good and Brilliant Legislators who ordinarily should have been rewarded with more terms in the State House of Assembly has been denied that opportunity because of the rotation arrangement in Nnewi.
House of Assembly Members Representing Nnewi are always beginners because they don’t spend more than a tenure and this has led to their underperformance.
In the legislature, experience and seniority are factors in the sharing formula. If you are not a ranking member in the legislature, you cannot aspire for certain positions in the house.
The truth remains that in the parliament, the more experienced your member is, the more positions he gets, the more experienced he is, the more project he attracts.
With the rotation/zoning arrangement in Nnewi, no Nnewi indigene can attain the level of a Speaker in the state house of Assembly because Section (3.26) of the Standing Rule Order of Anambra State House of Assembly stipulates:
“The Member elect being proposed as Speaker shall have had Successful four years tenure or more as a state legislator.
“Following this Order of Anambra State House of Assembly, no member-elect from Nnewi given the existing status quo is qualified to contest for office of the Speaker.
In 2015, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), the party in the majority in the Anambra State House of Assembly zoned the position of speakership to Anambra South Senatorial Zone following the November 2014 election of Willie Obiano (Anambra North) and Nkem Okeke (Anambra Central) as Governor and Deputy Governor Respectively.
Nnewi Representative, Hon. Engr. Chukwudi Orizu was in pole Position to become the Speaker having served as the Deputy Speaker in his first term in the House of Assembly, but because of the four years single term provision in Nnewi Constitution, he didn’t seek for reelection and that was how he lost out.
In 2019, Nnewi will again have the same opportunity. Are we going to sacrifice it again on the Alter of Zoning?
Following the obvious disadvantages of zoning/rotation, Nnewi should as a matter of urgency amend the rotational clause for House of Assembly Members in Nnewi Constitution and allow Nnewi Representatives more tenures not even only second tenure as currently being advocated by Nzuko Ora – Nnewi.
Experience and performance should be the criteria for reelecting legislators in order for development to come.
We must jettison rotation/ zoning in other to get the best brains in governance to drive development.
Ebubechukwuzuloke Brown writes from Nnewi, Anambra State (09069592424).
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