Participants at a Roundtable Discussion organised by Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), on Thursday, has called on the need for proportional representation in government to ensure a sustainable development in the country
The occasion, which took place in Abuja, was attended by different political parties’ chieftains, experts in the field of politics, civil society organisations and members of the media.
According to them, proportional representation of political parties in government will ensure inclusive government and grassroot development in Nigeria.
The Chairman, Democratic People’s Congress, Mr. Segun Peters, said that proportional representation (PR) would allow citizens to be represented fully in Government.
“One of the things we need as political parties in Nigeria is proportional representation, it helps all citizens have full representation in their government.
“Proportional representation will help us immensely in developing Nigeria because it is better than independence candidacy,” he said.
Also, the National Chairman, Labour Party, Mr. Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, stated that citizens are not enjoying the dividends of democracy due to lack of proportional representation.
He added that Nigeria’s democracy has grown beyond the system where proportional representation would be absent from our government.
Abdulsalam noted that the masses have been disenfranchised from the government for a long time, therefore proportional representation would allow citizens feel the impact of democracy.
A Lecturer in the Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Dr Tunji Ogunyemi, while delivering his lecture said proportional representation means multiple seats in a constituency.
Ogunyemi added that proportional representation allows minority representation and prevents political tyranny.
“Proportional representation stands to give Nigeria financial efficiency where revenue allocation would be based on the contribution of states to the revenue.
“It will also allow revenue allocation to be based on the geographical size of a state as well as transfer resources fro Federal Government to the Local areas.
“This will boost development as the real citizens of Nigeria are in the local areas,” he said.
The Head of Department, Political Science, University of Abuja, Prof Yusuf Zoaka, explained that proportional representation promotes vast opinion in the National Assembly, emphasising that an assembly is supposed to contain different opinions.
Zoaka said that proportional representation would encourage stability in political parties and encourage minority parties.
He added that it would also make every vote count, encourage citizens to come out and vote as well as prevent political party migration by members during elections.
Earlier, the Country Representative of Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), Mrs Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi, said that the vision of organisation is to promote peace, democracy and rule of law in Nigeria.
She noted that proportional representation is a very good and can be done in different forms depending on the country adding that it is power sharing.
“To fear the world US has led for the better part of a century, abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe and refuse the obligations of international leadership… for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solving problems is unpatriotic. “
-US Senator John McCain(At National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia)
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