It is no longer news that our President intends to send a Single Term Bill to the National Assembly (NASS) just two months into his four-year term as the fourth Executive President. At least his new town crier signed a note posted on Mr. President’s Facebook account.
I am not surprised that a GEJ will consider such a senseless and dangerous Bill but appalled that at a time when one expect Mr. President to roll out his agenda for the transformation of our sick and dying economy he is busy playing lunatic politics.
According to the Note titled “President Jonathan and Tenure of Office” Reuben Abati said“President Jonathan is concerned about the acrimony which the issue of re-election, every four years, generates both at the Federal and State levels. The nation is still smarting from the unrest, the desperation for power and the overheating of the polity that has attended each general election…” but he forgot mention how the tenure elongation and single term would curb the animosities brought about by desperate and selfish politicians like his principal.
In a bid to lure the NASS into accepting and agreeing to his deceitful and despicable arrangement he went on to say “in the envisaged 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”. I wonder what Mr. President’s intentions are. I would not be surprised if the NASS also fall for his gimmicks after all they are crooks from the same lineage so they must stay under the same umbrella.
Mr. President also stated in the bile piece that “The envisaged Bill is part of the Jonathan administration’s transformation agenda aimed at sanitizing the nation’s politics”. Can Mr. President be focussed on doing the job for which the mistaken Nigerians have mandated him to do because I personally do not see how a single term of 6 years would solve the problems of bad blood generated with Nigeria elections alas it would even worsen the current situation.
If GEJ is truly sincere and committed to the transformation of the politics of the nation he should read the Justice Uwais led Electoral Act reform all over again and implement the recommendations to the letter. The president should campaign for a less expensive government and governance making politics less attractive to the career politicians thereby enticing the people who are genuinely ready to serve to come into politics. Only then can Mr. President start talking about transformation of the nation’s politics.
I do not know if GEJ and sick advisers think that Nigerians have dull and short memories like them when they decided to say that “If the proposed amendment is accepted by the National Assembly, the President assures that he will not in any way be a beneficiary”. Need I remind you that GEJ once subscribed to the zoning arrangement in PDP but when it was time for the party primary election we all knew what went down so he could achieve his presidential ambition only to turn back and said the zoning arrangement must be respected in the NASS? How wise? I want Nigerians to know that there is no altruism in anything done by GEJ as he is constantly and continuously orchestrating moves to achieve selfish objectives.
Even if the President thinks in his wildest imagination that single term is the solution to the political problems in the land must this Bill be the first agenda to pursue?
Let me quickly say categorically that it would have done this administration a lot good if Mr. President came to say “we are working to create a particular number of jobs in a country where over 65% its populations are youth below the age of 35 with less than 20% of them fully engaged economically. How interesting would it be if Mr. President had come to say for “this administration we want to reduce unemployment rate by even 40%”? Do we even have statistics of the employment created or lost on a monthly basis? Do we have record of how many jobs to be created for this economy to get to the acceptable 5% unemployment rate? Does this administration know how many businesses fold up on a regular basis in the country? Yet the most important thing the President can think of re-election wahala and Single Term Bill.
According to the United Nation Development Program, CIA World Factbook and World Bank indices over 70% of Nigerian populations live in abject poverty. A person is said to live below poverty line if such a person lives below $2 a day. What this means is that about 112 million Nigerians cannot afford to live on N350 a day. While the United Nation seek through the Millennium Development Goals to half poverty by the year 2015 the Nigerian government is thinking of Single Term of 6 years by 2015.
Nigerian case present a paradox where the country is rich, but the people are poor. Nigeria is richly endowed and the country’s wealth potentials manifest in the forms of natural, geographical, human and socioeconomic factors. With this condition, Nigeria should rank among the richest countries of the world that should have no business with extreme poverty but yet Human Poverty Index placed Nigeria among the 25 poorest nations in the world. Statistics available from the Federal Office of Statistics shows that about 15% was poor in 1960; the figure rose to 28% in 1980 and, by 1996, the incidence of poverty in Nigeria was 66%. Sadly the figure keep rising and the government of the day doesn’t think there is need to arrest this ugly situation rather what they are more interested in is a Single Term Bill. Priorities!
How nice would it have been if Mr. President came out to say that “fellow Nigerians we have devised a means to curb the menace of the terrorist group, Boko Haram and other security problems facing the country”? Perhaps our President has forgotten that since the civil war Nigeria has never has it this bad in terms of security. We all live daily in fear because security of lives and properties is not guaranteed. Yet we spend about N2billion daily on security. This group has almost taken over the country and Mr. President thinks if we have a Single Term that would solve our immediate and potential security problems.
How does Single Term Bill ensure foreign direct investment (FDI) come into such an economy like ours where virtually all the determinants of the flow of FDI move against us as a nation? Does the Single Term curb the issue of corruption? Does it increase business efficiency and effectiveness? Does Single Term reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks of doing business in Nigeria? I do not know if GEJ realises that Human Development Index puts Nigeria at an appalling158th position in the world? How does this Bill increase our human capital development? How does this Bill increase our life expectancy rate from the current 47years or reduce the infant mortality from 97death/1000 births?
Has Mr. President forgotten that there is no electricity in this country? Why isn’t the President declaring state of emergency on Power? Or is the Single Term more important than Power? People are dying of different diseases and ailments everyday but Mr. President didn’t deem it fit to send a bill to arrest the menace of avoidable death from treatable medical problems. Our roads suck human blood daily and yet Single Term is topmost on Mr. President’s Agenda.
It is high time we all stand against this Bill and tell GEJ that this is not the time for this nonsense! If 4 years is too short for him to work perhaps he should humbly resign before he wastes our time too much.
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