Nigeria’s Senate kills bill seeking to prolong Obasanjo’s tenure to unprecedented 3rd term
Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, CLASSmagazine, USAfricaonline.com and The Black BusinessJournal
Abuja- May 16, 2006: Nigerian senators voted on Tuesday, May 16, 2006, to throw out a bill seeking to amend the country’s constitution to give President Olusegun Obasanjo the chance to run for a third successive
term in office next year. A majority of lawmakers in the upper house agreed in a voice vote to scrap the bill, which has raised tensions in Africa’s most populous country plagued by ethnic and religious violence.
“By this result, the Senate has said clearly and eloquently that we should discontinue further proceedings on this amendment bill,” Senate President Ken Nnamani announced to applause.
Obasanjo, who was on a visit to France as the lawmakers took the decision, has never stated he wants to run again when his second,four-year term comes to an end in 2007. But he has hinted he would like to complete the economic and political reforms he has initiated. However, many Nigerians believe he is behind a powerful campaign by his supporters to prolong his rule. Six months must now elapse before the bill can be re-presented to the Senate if Obasanjo’s third term supporters wish to.
Obasanjo’s current 2nd tenure (8 years in office) will end on May 29, 2007. (IRIN)