Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday called for an institutionalised system that would guarantee transition of power from one democratic government to another in the country.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, made the call at a Stakeholders Dialogue, entitled: “Strengthening Nigeria’s Transition Framework for Democratic Consolidation’’ in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the National Democratic Institute (NDI) organised the dialogue to review transition practices and processes at the federal and state levels in Nigeria.
The president said an institutionalised system was imperative to guarantee a seamless transition of power, whether from a ruling government to itself or from the ruling power to the opposition.
“This will in turn reduce the kind of tension and anxiety that attended the last transition and set the tone for a predictable and orderly transfer of power, thus solidifying the concept of governance as a continuum.’’
Buhari stressed the need to look at what was obtainable in the world’s older and more advanced democracies before putting institutionalised transition process in place.
“The fact that their system of transition is clear and unambiguous is the reason why they have been able to avoid the kind of tension and uncertainty that we experience in these parts.
“In 2010 in the first coming of David Cameron as the British Prime Minister, the Conservatives which he led, won the largest number of seats in Parliament, but were 20 seats short of an overall majority, resulting in a hung Parliament.’’
Buhari said it took some time before talks between Cameron and the Liberal Democrats, led by its leader Nick Clegg, led to an agreed Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition.
He said when the talks lasted, there was no crisis and the transition was smooth because the institutionalised system of transition was in place.
“Stakeholders should study the international best practices as far as transition frameworks are concerned, and then make recommendations for a framework that will best suit Nigeria and also stand the test of time.
“Doing this is also in line with our change mantra, which seeks to achieve a paradigm shift in the way we do things, whether as individuals, government or corporate bodies.’’
The president said his administration was irrevocably committed to its cardinal programmes of tackling insecurity and corruption as well as creating jobs through the diversification of the economy and upgrading of infrastructure.
According to him, it is also determined to ensure that the change agenda touches all spheres of national life.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalong, who was a member of the 19-member transition committee, led by Alhaji Ahmed Joda, said legal frameworks would remove barriers of transition processes.
Dalong said the frameworks should address lack of cooperation and funding between the transition committee and the ruling government as his committee was underfunded and staved of basic information to carryout its assignment.
He said the problems contributed in no small measure to the delay in constituting the cabinet.
The NDI Country Director, Mr Jasper Veen, said the dialogue was to review transition practices and processes at the federal and state levels.
Veen said that it was also to address the transition issues/challenges identified after the 2015 general elections. (NAN)