In the midst of the storm over his proposal for a single-term tenure for the president and governors, President Goodluck Jonathan declared last Tuesday that he would not benefit from the new order.
Commentators had alleged that he was seeking to extend his tenure through the back door by proposing an amendment to the constitution, which could keep him in power for more years after his four-year tenure ends in 2015. While confirming that he was indeed proposing a single tenure, Jonathan specifically declared that he would not be a beneficiary because if passed by the legislature, the new dispensation would kick off from 2015.
He came to the conclusion that a single tenure would help executives concentrate on governance and development. The president further said the cost of conducting primaries every four years followed by general election was too unwieldy for the economy and distracts from service delivery as attention shifts too early to issues of election and re-election.
President Goodluck is to send a Constitution Amendment Bill to the National Assembly that will provide a single tenure for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Governors of the 36 states of the Federation. In the Bill, the tenure of members of the National and State Assemblies will also be a little more than four years, although lawmakers will still be eligible for re-election as their constituencies may determine.
Such a step by an African nation will definitely be interesting to watch and see whether this bill will pass and how exactly this will change the political atmosphere in the nation.