USAfrica, July 27, 2011: Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to push through the National Assembly a Constitutional amendment bill for a single tenure of 6-years for the President and the 36 Governors of the federating states of Nigeria is drawing major criticism from certain quarters as “self-serving”, fraudulent and diversionary.
The popular Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has attacked it as not in the best, immediate interest of Nigerians.
He queried: “is it in reality the problem of tenure that we are facing today? We have had governments that served for eight years without any productive value; so what difference would six or seven years, as the case may be, make?, Is that what will bring the greatest good to the greatest number? Is that where our problem lies?”
In a more critical statement from Ibadan (Oyo State) the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said, the Jonathan project is a reminder of former President Obasanjo failed tenure elongation project: “This is nothing but tenure elongation by subterfuge, and it is worse than the third term misadventure of his Godfather (Obasanjo). All it takes for the proviso (inserted to hoodwink gullible people) to be knocked off is for anyone to seek a declarative court ruling that he (President Jonathan) is indeed qualified to seek another term. After all, he did not go that far to disown his party’s zoning principle, which he signed on to.”
But the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati argues that: “President Jonathan’s commitment to a single term for the President and Governors is borne out of a patriotic zeal, after a painstaking study and belief that the constitutionally guaranteed two terms for Presidents and Governors is not helping the focus of governance and institutionalisation of democracy at this stage of our development. A longer term for law makers would also help to stabilise the polity”.
Mohammed disagreed by calling on Nigerians to look back a few months and two years ago, stating in his news release that: “Much as most Nigerians are shocked by President Jonathan’s plan, we are sure it did not come to them as a total surprise, because it is in line with his style since assuming office. After the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and his (President Jonathan’s) ascension to office, he cannot be remembered for anything beyond stoking the fire of zoning or no zoning, which burned brightly until he was elected President.”
USAfrica notes that the issue of tenure elongation and struggle for power have combined to reduce the benefits and dividends of democracy in Nigeria. See USAfricaonline.com special report of May 16, 2006 by Chido Nwangwu, titled: OBASANJO’S FAILED 3RD TERM POWER-PLAY IS GOOD NEWS TO NIGERIANS, ABROAD AND HOME…. https://usafricaonline.com/chido.obj3rdtermfails.html
While the tenure elongation project is still developing, Jonathan and his handlers have a lot to learn from the recent experience of Obasanjo, the man who picked him to serve as Yar’Adua’s vice President. Indeed, the tenure elongation project left an indelible stain, sour note and mark of ill-repute on the presidency and legacy of the hard-charging former President Obasanjo. But Goodluck insists he’s well-meaning. His critics argue to the contrary while Nigerians, largely, watch and observe and…. •Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards, was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn
USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com; The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine, PhotoWorks.TV, AchebeBooks.com, Nigeria360, USAfricaTV and several blogs, assessed by The New York TImes as the largest and arguably most influential multimedia networks for Africans and Americans. News@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By ChidoNwangwu,Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com https://usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html
Pat Utomi’s power of ideas into Nigeria’s 2011 presidential elections. By ChidoNwangwu.https://usafricaonline.com/2011/01/16/pat-utomi-power-of-ideas-into-nigerias-2011-presidential-elections-by-chido-nwangwu
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com https://usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html