- Category: Politics
- Published on Monday, 08 August 2011 07:56
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 608
PUBLIC opinion seems to have carried the day in the single tenure controversy. The Presidency has pulled the plug – on its proposed bill on single tenure and other amendments to the 1999 Constitution.
The single tenure being proposed by the government is the French model, which will replace the present presidential system imported from America.
President Goodluck Jonathan is said to be unhappy that his well-thought out intention is being enmeshed in controversy, with “mischief-makers” taking undue advantage to score political points.
It was also learnt that the President has been disturbed that his administration is being distracted by reactions from some Nigerians, who have not seen the bill.
To avoid the proposal being hijacked by anti-government elements, the Presidency has decided to suspend the presentation of the bill to the National Assembly this year.
Instead, according to a source, the government is working out modalities on how the single tenure plan will be subjected to a thorough debate for Nigerians to weigh the pros and cons.
The source said the planned nationwide debate will also affect other constitution amendments, which the Presidency may initiate.
His words: “The single tenure will be a seven-year model as applicable in France before a referendum in 2000 shortened it to five years. The 2008 Constitutional reform in France imposed a maximum of two terms.
The President has confided in his team, associates and party leaders that he does not intend to benefit from the single tenure proposal. He almost came near swearing to support his intention.
“In fact at a point, he told members of his kitchen cabinet and trusted aides that he is promoting the latest tenure option to avoid re-election distraction for President and governors and to check stealing of public funds by office holders.”
The source quoted Jonathan as saying: “I am just out to transform. After my tenure, I know we will all want to go back and write our memoirs.”
The source added: “The single tenure bill is not ready, it has been suspended till next year and this development will affect all amendments being proposed by the government.
“We have stayed action till after Nigerians have debated the bill. Modalities are being worked out by the government for the debate.”
But the source could not immediately confirm who will co-ordinate the debate or how it will run its course.
He said: “Nigerians will freely contribute to the debate, after which the government will take a decision based on popular opinion. It is after the debate next year that the government will send a bill to the National Assembly on constitution amendments.
“The opportunity of the debate will enable Nigerians to appreciate the merits of the single tenure proposal.”