Akin Akande, Abuja
Former Senate President, Dr. Joseph Wayas, has described the coming together of some opposition parties into one mega party as the best thing to have happened to the nation’s democracy.
Dr. Wayas who, however, didn’t mention the appropriate number of political parties suitable for the nation maintained that the fewer the parties, the better for the country even as he faulted the two party system experimented by the military government under military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, describing it as undemocratic.
The second republic Senate President, who was answering questions from journalists in Abuja on Tuesday also said that the nation should experiment with the proposed six year single tenure for president.
His words: “It is good that the opposition parties are coming together, in a presidential democracy the fewer parties you have the better but declined to pin down a number of the parties saying “no I will not pin down a number, I think what is going on is the best for Nigeria. People, who see themselves as like minds, think the same way and want to do things the same way, coming together.
“That means they have tried, come back to the earlier issue we referred to four year, six year. You see, these people have tried it on their own, they now see now that they will be better off by fusing and have fewer number. It is better than doing it the military way; create two parties; you like go this way, you don’t like go that way. It is undemocratic”
“About the six year single tenure being proposed by the National Assembly, well you know I’m one of the writers of this Presidential Constitution and I remember I presided a lot over aspects and chapters of constitution and one that received a lot of discussion was this issue of single term” he said.
He also noted that the only thing that could bring sanity into the nation’s political scene is for politicians to play the game according to the rules saying: “The only thing that can bring sanity into democracy is by keeping to the rules. I have no personal feeling about it; that’s how I see it”.
“Of course we were coming out of a parliamentary system into a presidential democracy but now we have gathered the experience. But the way we look at it that two terms; there are both positive and negative sides.
“Two terms gives an opportunity for somebody who shows his skills in the first term to get the second term in order to accomplish most of the things he had planned which four years were not enough.
“On the other side of the coin was also the fact that if somebody was no skilful or good enough if you give him a longer time he would be dwelling in pains and confusion.
“So we looked at it and say four years is good enough for anybody who is promising to show skills and then be given another chance by this time to do it with his full skills.
“It is debatable; may be it is after you try the two then you can turn to one. It is too early to recommend any one of the two until you try the six year.
“There is nothing like alternatives, finally you will come out with one of the best. Even six years that is being proposed now is a trial, at the end of it every Nigerian will be able to talk about both” he said.