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Ekweremadu asks Nigerians to revisit single term for president, governors

Ekweremadu asks Nigerians to revisit single term for president, governors
August 22
20:11 2018
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Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, has asked Nigerians to revisit the issue of single term for the president and governors.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Ekweremadu said when the issue was first proposed in the seventh assembly, it did not succeed because the legislation was misunderstood.

The deputy senate president said some countries in South America adopted a single term and later reverted to two-term presidency.

“As is always the case, Nigeria’s political atmosphere is getting toxic ahead of the 2019 general election and governance is taking a backseat. Unfortunately, this atmosphere, with the accompanying brazen political excesses, are unlikely to abate until well after the 2019 general election,” the post read.

“Unable to resist the temptations that come with enormous power of incumbency, those who call the shots today, throw everything within their reach into the mix in desperate efforts to retain power at all cost and by all means. The feverish political climate in the country today, once again, justifies the call by some of us for a single term of five or six years for the president and governors.

“Although a renewable four-year term is popular, societies are dynamic and it is up to us to make necessary constitutional adjustments to safeguard our democracy and make periods leading up to our elections less toxic.

“In the 1970s, many Latin American democracies faced the same challenges we face in Nigeria today. As many of them transited from military and autocratic regimes to democratic regimes, they discovered that the politics of succession, including incumbents’ penchant for self-perpetuation, overheated their polities and threatened their democracies.

“They adopted the single term presidency until such a time their respective democracies matured and stabilised. Although virtually all of them have reverted to two-term presidency, Mexico still practices single term presidency, called Sexino. She also retained the Sexino in the 2014 constitution amendment.

“In Nigeria’s case we proposed a single term for the president and governors with several transitional options during the constitution amendment exercise in the seventh national assembly. Unfortunately, it was misunderstood by various political and sectional interests for various reasons and the proposal did not succeed.

“However, I strongly believe a single term of five or six years for president and governors, even if for a stipulated period as was the case with several Latin American democracies, is something Nigerians should revisit after the 2019 general election.”

The senator said there would be less political tensions and executive excesses that comes with self-succession if the single term is adopted for the president and governors.

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