NWABUEZE SUPPORTS SINGLE TENURE, CALLS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE
A leading Nigerian lawyer and former minister of educattion and youth development, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has lent his support to President Jonathan's call for a single term of office for Nigeria's president.
Prof. Nwabueze who spoke at his 80th birthday and book launch held at his Ogbaru family compound, however, said the tenure of office for the president should be limited to five years instead of six being proposed by the president.
He also stressed the need for rotation of office of the president among the six geo-political zones in the country.
Prof. Nwabueze noted with dismay that there was too much concentration of power at the centre, which made it very attractive and therefore very competitive and controversial. 'Power at the centre must be reduced and shared among the zones,' he declared.
On federalism the octogenarian scholar said the federal structure must be restructured in terms of component groups having their turns. He argued that five years were enough for any president to record remarkable achievements for the country.
Said he: 'If you are not able to achieve what you want to do for Nigerians in five years, you have failed.'
He, however, warned that unless power was allowed to rotate among the geo-political zones, the nation would not make meaningful progress.
'If you have single term of five years and one group still dominates the scene, we shall be where we are,' he stated.
The octogenarian took a holistic view of the state of the nation and called for a national conference where all the segments of Nigerians would sit at a round table and discuss how the country should be run.
He faulted Nigerians' value system, which he said attached too importance to money against truth and good character.
In his sermon at the Church service marking the occasion, the founder and leader of Christ Living Church, His Grace, Most Rev. Daddy Hezekiah applauded the virtues of Prof. Nwabueze who he said was his lecturer many years ago in Zambia.
He appealed to religious leaders to shelve the idea that converts could be won by shedding innocent blood, pointing out that the most important thing was to win souls for God.
Most Rev. Hezekiah also advised Christians not to be deceived by the suffocation of the world through what they receive in the internet and to fight against bribery and corruption,
The Birthday of the Octogenarian also featured the launching of his latest book titled ''Current Issues In the Workings of Constitutional Democracy in Nigeria'.
The book was reviewed by the former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Ilochi Okafor, who also said he was a student of Prof. Nwabueze 45 years ago.
He described Prof. Nwabueze as the greatest Nigerian scholar living today.
Present at the colourful ceremony include the Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, the former Governor of Enugu State, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, the National Chairman of ANPP, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who was the chairman of the occasion, First Republic Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief M.T. Mbu, former chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, and the Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Prof. Godwin Onu.
Others are the chairman of Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Igwe Alfred Achebe, the Eze Uzu of Awka, HRH Gibson Nwosu, and Barr. Onyechi Ikeazu.
Also in attendance are, the Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Chinwe Nwaebili, the member representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Victor Ogene, among others.
Highlights of the occasion included the cutting of Birthday Cake