…Urges civil servants to be active in politics
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has canvassed for a proportional representation system of all political parties in the National Assembly to check cases of cross carpeting among lawmakers.
The People Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain also said it was a wrong notion for people to say that civil servants should not be members of political parties, urging them to do so actively.
Speaking on Tuesday’s night in Abuja, during the official launch of Responsive Political Party Programme (RPPP) by the International Republic Institute (IRI), Ekweremadu expressed confidence that if such model us adopted, “issue of disconnect between the political parties and their members will cease.”
While faulting those who believe that civil servants should not be active in politics, the deputy senate president made reference to “the Supreme Court, in a case of INEC vs Musa and others which was decided in 2003, in a judgement delivered by the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais, the Alex court declare that any guideline, be it INEC guideline, civil service rule or the electoral act that bars civil servants from belonging to political parties is in consistent with section 40 of the 1999 constitution.”
According to him, the notion that civil servants cannot join political parties in Nigeria is unfounded.
On proportional representation system, he said: “The parties will submit a list of potential lawmakers to the election management body with a reserve list. Thereafter, the electorates will cast their votes for contending parties with each party getting the number of seat proportionate to the percentage of votes to gathers at the polls.
“For example, if you get sixty percent of the votes, all you need to do is submit sixty percent of the members from the list you submitted and if any of the lawmakers cross carpet, dies or anything happens, you will replace the person from the reserve list which you have already submitted to the election management body,” he stated.
Speaking earlier, IRI President, Dan Twining, said the organisation is currently working in about 100 countries around the world to help connect citizens to government and to help government to be responsive to the citizens.
“Nigeria is a great country of focus for IRI even though we are working all over Africa. Nigeria is our best focus in sub Saharan African and we will continue to invest in it.
“I must say that the Nigerian story had become very important over time and we hope to deepen and extend our work here. We are working round the world, doing quite some innovative work with political parties and other democratic actors to help the, identify new opportunities, to mobilize voters and connect with them to deliver on the kind of governance that is not under pressure all over the world.”