- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 28 July 2011 04:41
- Written by Admin
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ACN, in a statement by its spokesman Lai Mohammed, said the project was potentially divisive and would further threaten the country’s fragile unity, which the party said was already compromised by the President’s volte-face on the zoning issue.
Mohammed said the plan was fraudulent, suspect and deceptive, especially given that it was not part of the president’s or the ruling People’s Democratic Party’s election manifesto.
“The project is also self-serving because, despite the deceptive proviso that President Jonathan will not benefit from it, there is nothing in the constitution that bars him from seeking another term of office in 2015 and, in any case, he has not told anyone that he will not run again after his current tenure.
“This is nothing but tenure elongation by subterfuge and it is worse than the third term misadventure of his Godfather. 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 (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.
“Now, three months after he promised Nigerians heaven and earth in his inauguration speech but delivered nothing, while Nigerians are daily being subjected to hellish living, all he has come up with is a bill to amend the Constitution so the President and state governors can serve only one term. How is this issue more important than taking measures to grow our moribund economy; or to ensure that millions of our jobless youths are gainfully employed?
“He should therefore jettison this ill-advised pursuit of tenure elongation through the back door, apologise to Nigerians and face squarely the daunting task of serious governance. If he fails to do so, which is very likely, the National Assembly should not waste time in throwing it away,” Mohammed said.
For his part, spokesman for the CPC, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, said, “CPC views with utter disgust the bill from President Goodluck Jonathan to the National Assembly on Constitutional amendment for a single term…for President and Governors. As a way to get the ‘buy-in’ of the legislators, Mr. President has also sought to slightly increase the renewable terms for legislators at both State and Federal levels from the subsisting four years.”
Chairman of TMG, Comrade Mashood Erubami, said nobody was convinced about the assurance by the president that he will not in any way benefit from the proposal.
He said the misdirected urgency attached to the bill when the President should be preoccupied with other priorities of state is an indication that he will be pressured to benefit by political hawks.
“The agenda is targeted towards 2015. Definitely Nigerians never voted for this in the last April election and could not envisage that despite the grinding hunger and poverty, growing insecurity and general disenchantment with the life Nigerians are made to live, tenure extension will be their considered portion before the 100 days in office.
“How else can one interpret that the President meant well for the people when tenure extension is more important in his mind at a time that many think he will be concentrating his energies on reconciling while despite the avalanche of resources at the disposal of the country, Nigerians still live a life of penury and suffering the paradox of lack in the midst of plenty,” Erubami said.
He said the provision for tenure extension parity with the National Assembly is a bribe to the legislature, and urged members of the National and State Assemblies to reject the bill as another third term agenda similar to the one nursed by the then President Obasanjo. (Compass News)