Practical ideas for National Development #EndSARS inspired

Emeka Akano
5 min readOct 24, 2020

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The #ENDSARS Nigerian Youth agitations of 2020 can be settled with the following: A constitutionally recognized comprehensive National Development Plan supported by three foundational reforms.

Reform 1: Judiciary & Law Enforcement Reforms (Goal: Speed, Efficiency & Unbiased Consequence)

This is the cornerstone of all institutional reforms in the country. As long as there is no consequence for impunity in Nigeria, all other reforms will fail. Public office holders, the organized private sector, and the general public are witnesses to breach of contracts, open evidence of a crime, and outright breaking of the law on a daily basis with no fear of retribution and consequence. Nigeria does not lack laws; it lacks implementation and enforcement. This is a comprehensive reform that would be best advised by a committee of international and local expert practitioners — it will involve judicial process reforms at the national and state levels, judicial process digitalization, reforms of the bar and the bench, financial independence of the judiciary, appointment process review for judges, prison decongestion and management reforms, unbundling of the supreme court, reforms of the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP), role review department of justice and attorney general, court decisions enforcement reforms, comprehensive police reforms and procedural linkages to the judiciary, etc.

Reform 2: Public Code of Conduct Reforms (Goal: Evidence of Self-interest)

The foundational essence of this reform is to ensure that public office holders have evidence of vested personal interest in state affairs throughout their tenure in office. This will involve updates to the constitutional requirements for code of conduct in public office:

1) All elected public officers from local counselors, LGA Chairman, State, and Federal Representatives, Governors, Senators to the President must have themselves and their immediate families attend public schools and public hospitals all through the duration of their tenures in office. Breach of this would result in the immediate impeachment and termination of appointment; with criminal prosecution in instances of falsification of information.

2) All elected public office holders from counselor to President must declare their assets and tax records in court and publish the same on the pages of a national newspaper as a requirement for swearing-in. Also, they would declare in court and publish the same as a requirement for retirement from elected public office failure of which is a criminal prosecution.

3) Declaration of conflict of interest: All potential transactions, persons, and incidents of conflicts of interests must be declared in court and published in a national daily for all elected public office holders as a condition for swearing-in; and declare the same as conditions for retirement from public office. Failure to do this would be deemed a criminal offense.

Reform 3: Public Office Criteria & Conditions Reforms (Goal: Evidence of Capacity & National Equity)

The foundational essence of this reform is to improve the quality of the aspiring officeholders and permanently cut-off the mischievous narratives of sectional politics. This will involve updates to the constitutional requirements for the Nigerian public office on the following:

1) Upper and lower age limits on all elected public offices in the country: An age recommendation limit for starters can be 30 years at the lower limit threshold and 75 years at the upper limit threshold.

30 and above (Not more than 60yrs) — Legislatures (House of Assembly and House of Reps)

35 and above (Not more than 60yrs) — Governor and President

45 and above (Not more than 75 yrs) — Senators

2) Upper and lower limits to the allowances and remuneration of all elected public office holders: again, standards of the civil service commission should be applied.

3) Job experience and educational qualification requirements shall be advanced for all elected public offices in the country.

4) Rotation of the office of presidency across the 6 geo-political zones: This is the fundamental reform to ensure sectional politicians and ever ugly tribal agenda (real or imagined) do not have sway over national politics. Tribalism and exploitation of ethnic differences is a fundamental attribute of politics in Nigeria and must not be ignored.

5) The office of the Presidency alone should be designed for rotation across the 6-geopolitical zones for 5-year single terms. An executive (Governor, President, etc) should have a single term limit of 5 years.

A legislative (Rep, Senator, etc) should have two terms maximum, of 5yrs each.

6) Term limits shall be imposed on the legislature and all legislative offices.

7) Public Office limits shall be imposed on individuals as no individual can hold more than three public offices (elected or appointed) in a lifetime.

National Development Plan:

This document shall be the centerpiece of measurable service performance for public elected or appointed officers. The National and State assemblies shall develop and pass a 15-year National Development Plan to guide executive policy implementation. This document shall have measurable goals and objectives in all socio-economic sectors.

These will include 15-year development and monitoring outlines for: Education, Health, Infrastructure, Trade, Manufacturing, Industry, etc. The National Bureau of Statistics shall be mandated to publish Quarterly performance metrics and data tracking of all outlined indices in the development plan.

The National Assembly shall review the Executive performance scorecard with a defense by Ministers (or commissioners) annually, for which they can be terminated, queried, or placed on probation notice. Once passed into law in the State and National Assembly, changes in the National or State development plans can only be done by the majority act of parliament. It will be renewed every 15 years. Political parties and candidates can differ in the choice of policy, budgetary strategies, and implementation priorities for these central National or State Development Plans. This document will be supported by other extensive constitutional amendments such as land use reforms, exclusive list reforms, state police, national revenue allocation review, etc.

2020 Youth Reform Agenda Chart

PS: The above is culminated thoughts of young Nigerians who simply dream of a better Nigeria and are keen to exchange radical ideas with peers even as more of the youth begin to take their rightful place in the polity. Like elder stateman — Atedo Peterside said in his interview with Arise TV on the 23rd October 2020;

“Nigerian youth must start now to make the #EndSARS come to live in 2023” — Atedo Peterside

>>Click here for the full interview

Co-authored by Obiora Nwokoye

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Emeka Akano

Entrepreneur |Tech Enthusiast | Forbes 30 Under 30| With keen interest in National Development through job creation and unemployment rate reduction