Nweze believes that the restructuring of Nigeria’s system of government and many other issues are of great importance for the National Conference to tackle; none of which they are yet to mention due to unresolved debates among the delegates.
He, however, was of the view that the issues affecting the start of business at the National Conference were normal considering that these were people from different backgrounds and orientations, noting that as soon as they sort out these differences, things would fall into place owing to the view that “many of the delegates do not know why they are there.”
He believes that the conference can achieve its purpose in 3 months, as long as they sort out all the issues.
On the possibility of an extension for the conference, he said that the closeness of the general elections should not be a problem, as politics should be secondary to the National Conference because it is a more important factor to move Nigeria forward.
On the views expressed by the Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha, who threatened to walk out from the conference, Nweze said that it was a good thing that he expressed those views as it showed how some Nigerians were thinking.
He added that the comments further highlighted the issue of the age bracket represented at the conference. He wondered why octogenarians would be discussing the future of a country without considering the people who would be in that future.
He berated the Northern elders for forcing their agenda on Nigerians, as he insisted that they were not representing the views of the younger generation of Northerners. He believed that the elders rather than focus on how to develop their region were more concerned about an agenda they had held for years.
Nweze said that the problem of Nigeria remained the same one that led the country into the civil war in the late 60s – fear of domination; and going back to the parliamentary system would not help the country because it failed before.
He spoke about his recommendation of the ‘college of presidents’ which he said has been sent in for consideration as a new system of government for Nigeria to eliminate the fear of regional and ethnic domination that has been drawing the country back.
He explained that the Collegiate Presidents would be made up of 6 persons representing the 6 Geo-political zones of the country. They would jointly have a 6-year tenure as President, during which they would take turns to lead the country for 1 year each while the 5 others handle portfolios that would eliminate the idea of having so many Ministers.
The Collegiate Presidency System Of Government also recommends not more than 72 people at the National Assembly that would be made up 2 persons representing each of the 36 states, as this will reduce the expenditure on governance for a developing economy like Nigeria’s.
He noted that this system of government would eliminate the issue of marginalization and create a more united people, adding that Nigeria cannot ignore its ethnicity as it is an important part of the country’s existence.
Dr. Autin Nweze was speaking on the Friday edition of Channels Television’s flagship breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.