Posted: July 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Last week, President Goodluck Jonathan sent a constitutional amendment bill to the national assembly to pave way for a single tenure for the president and governors of the 36 states. In addition the president said he will not be a beneficiary of the proposed amendment which he proposes should take effect from 2015.
This move has drawn criticism from various quarters especially from the nation’s leading opposition party , Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which has described the single term project as self serving, seeing it as a plot to tenure elongation in disguise.
Unfortunately as selfless and nationalistic as this proposed amendment may seem, it opens up old wounds, reminding many of previous pronouncements by Goodluck Jonathan –pronouncements which seemingly have made him loose faith with many Nigerians. A man endeared to many because of his humble beginnings seems to have lost most of the trust bestowed on him by millions of Nigerians through his shoddy comments and perceived power thirsty schemes. This piece tries to take a peek at these recent pronouncements and proposed amendment through the lens of his previous unclear pronouncements.
Presidency- to be or not
At the demise of Late President Umaru Yar’Adua, humble Jonathan was then sworn in as substantive president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. From his ascension as president to when he decided to run for presidency, a position his party had zoned to the north, he had at different occasions silently dodged the issue of running for the highest seat in the land, confessing to belingering pressure from various quarters. Like the statesman he is, he rather called on all public servants to put hands on deck to build the nation with him instead of bothering him to run for presidency. Finally without warning or any sign Jonathan decided to yield to these so called pressure, he ran for President.
Zoning-not constitutional
When he Goodluck Jonathan, finally decided to run for presidency, he claimed one of his reason for this decision was for the sustenance of democracy and peace. Ironically, this peace so claimed has become the mother of all violence now experienced from the Boko Haram to Niger Delta Millitants and Fulani Crisis in the middle belt. This decision in the first place did not go down well with certain elements in the PDP especially the northern caucus because the position, based on agreement had been zoned to the north who had only enjoyed barely two years of the initial four year tenure. In the build up to the elections this issue rocked the party on the issue of constitutionality of the zoning formula. After much arguments and rumblings the issue was made to rest at the parties primarie making way for Mr. Presidents smooth sail to Aso Rock.
Soon as Goodluck Ebele Jonathan became president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he again began another controversy aimed at securing his presidency- planting his cronies in strategic positions in the National Assembly. To do this status quo had to be returned and Mr. President once again dipped his hand in his bag of tricks and resurrected zoning formula for the election of principal officers for the seventh assembly, with PDP apportioning seats to various geo-political zones of the country. Unfortunately the more proactive House of Representatives decided to go against this formula and gimmick which brought about the Tambuwal/Ihedioha ticket a decision much detested by PDP till date.
Now- single tenure
Today Goodluck has brought a new trick termed single tenure. A bill that extends and limits the tenure of all executives (state governors and president) to six year and claims this bill will not be beneficial to him. How? All who have criticized this seemingly beautiful bill ask the question of ‘what caveat exempts Goodluck from benefitting from this bill?’ many wonder if this is not another of his ploys to remain in power longer than usual (12 years)

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