February 2, 2023
The US Mid-Term Election is a unique election that gives US citizens the bi-annual opportunity to change or keep lawmakers on the Government chessboard, the President being constant. Here in Nigeria, we get ours only when the chess is over. Can we get mid-terms too? Let's find out how!
US Senate (Plenary)

In the United States, the President is elected every 4 years by an electoral college (a body of nominated politicians who vote their preferred candidates in the Presidential Election).

The US Senate and the US Congress (US legislative bodies)  conduct their elections  alongside the US Presidential Election.

However! There is what is called “the US  Mid-Term Election” which comes up every half (2 years) of  United States President’s tenure.

Why Did They Create This Provision?

(1) Maintains  “federal structure”: US speakers speak in turns and according to their stake in the federation as the states themselves are equal.

(2) Inter-Political Party Independence: Parties out of presidential power should also have a say.

(3) It Checks on Party in Power.

In our own Nigerian politics, the Green Chamber (House of Reps) and the Red Chamber (Senate) we don’t have anything like this!

Nigerian Senate (Red Chamber)
Red Chamber

APC, for example, had to wait for PDP  to complete a whole 8-year tenure  before they could even hold a quarter-power in  Nigeria’s foremost legislative body- the Nigerian Senate.

Quite normally, opposition parties will find themselves more out of power than in.

Come to think of this, the Presidential Election should go hand in hand with the Senatorial Election every election season.

But, not all Senatorial tenures should expire at the same time; after all, we call Nigeria a federation.

Senatorship is about representation and representation can only be called-for or called-off when the people so desire.

So, how do we adopt it?

Nigerian Senate
The Nigerian Senate

Immediately after the 2023 Presidential Election, half of the seats in the Nigerian Senate should have an expiration of tenure.

While the other half should go up in 2025.

Now,

This should be done on the basis of the 6 geo-political zones which Nigeria must make a belief of.

Next, every political party in or out of legislative power should have the capacity of democracy to be the major legislative power ceteris paribus. No party should find it impossible to be in legislative power-position until the executive party comes out of executive power.

In the US, many times, opposition parties became the majority in the US Congress especially through Mid-terms where the party in executive power becomes unpopular with the citizens. A case in point is that of former President Donald Trump whose Republican Party lost the House of Reps to the Democrats while maintaining a fair-win over the Senate.

I don’t mean proportional representation!

We need to balance 2 important things starting from the ‘House of the People’s called the National Assembly (to the entire 3-tier Government)

  • Party-power parity in the Nigerian political system
  • Tribe Representation Profile

The President of Nigeria shouldn’t be escourted by 109 Senators and 360 Representatives every end-of-tenure, neither should the law-makers be bound by Nigeria’s electoral process to the President’s “coronation” and “re-coronation”; it brings the House of the People under the Leader of the People too much, relatively limiting its independence, electoral calendar and creativity!

Nigeria’s democracy nascency shouldn’t discourage Nigerians from moving for creative changes that can give us an algorithm that suits us as a democratic federation of people.

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