I do apologize for the protracted delay in chronicling my Rants in recent times.
If, like me, you have been sucked into the Centrifuge called the Nigerian Debacle, you will more than empathize with my situation.
Foresight is a Gift and a Curse. The same way you are privileged to see what others can’t see, you are condemned to be the only one seeing it.
I personally am amazed at the outcry coming on the heels of the Term Limit/Tenure Elongation bid as proposed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Why is anyone surprised?
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (Ph. D), May 26th, 2011, Pre-Inauguration Lecture, Quote:
“Four years is too short for a President or a Governor to embark on any meaningful programme because it takes about a year or two before the administration settles down even with the right set of Ministers or Commissioners. Then, if the latter turn out “not to be good”, after one year or two, the President or Governor is compelled to reshuffle his cabinet and by the time the new cabinet settles down, it is time for another election, and everyone is busy trying to win an election”
What amazes me is that this same Administration promised to ‘Hit the ground running’; indeed, the President is hitting the ground running; FROM REAL ISSSUES!
Visualize the President’s desk: Boko-Haram, Electricity, Security, Decaying/Decayed Infrastructure, Rising Ocean Tides and Consequent Flooding, and Corruption, among the several priority clutters and B-A-N-G! The only file that Lights a Mega-Watt Bulb in the head of this Ph. D holder is ‘Tenure Elongation to Discourage Do-Or-Die Politics’! I hear he does not plan to benefit from the Proposed amendment; Bravo! How Altruistic!
Since Mr. President is interested in ‘using Paracetamol for another man’s headache’, I have a whole lot of Altruistic proposals that we’d all thank him for, like splitting his allowance in half and ‘blessing’ me with it.
Poser: What happens to the Governors who are currently on First Term? Are they automatically disqualified? And if they are free to run again, does that automatically make them entitled to the prospect of a cumulative 10 (Ten) Year Term? How about the 10 (ten) other States running different electoral calendars due to the mess created by the 2007 elections a la Maurice Iwu? Governor Obi of Anambra, would have served his two terms by 2014; will the 2015 effective date be retroactive? In the case of the notorious tenure extension obtained by the Governors of Adamawa, Sokoto, Cross River, Kogi and Bayelsa States, if a new Governor comes in, will he be synced-by-force into the 2015 timeline or the Calendars continue to vary like the time zones of the United States?
Let’s look a tad away from that. What bars Goodluck Jonathan Constitutionally from seeking another Term in 2015? His Words??!! Are you freaking kidding me? The same words that ‘Hits the ground running’, right?
Let’s push that to the side, I have this eerie feeling we are being entertained again.
I see, if care is not taken, a long drawn debate over this term-limit. This will amount to waste of time, money and probably bring the dimension of the theatrics we witnessed in 1999-2007 where fisticuffs and furniture throwing became the norm.
Let’s assume the Lawmakers all nod their ‘Ayes’ like zombies. What do we get?
Let’s see all that has been touted as the ‘Pros’ of this Term-Limit.
- Seven year tenure will mean that election will be held every six years instead of four years which means less money will be spent on elections.
Politicians spend, and will always spend, regardless. Less money on elections does not guarantee less money on colossal wastage. If the president wants to save money, there are lots of candidates for ‘Expenditure Trimming’
- Seven year single term may encourage some presidents or governors to take bold steps with regard to the economic, political or social policies they think will benefit the country in the short and long-run without fear of negative backlash when they seek re-election.
Nigerian Politicians do not think that way, in my own opinion. Besides, it’s a two-edged sword, the same way; presidents/governors could do a lot of things that are detrimental to the Electorate without the fear of any backlash whatsoever.
- Zoning will be easier to implement across the six geo-political zones in a seven year single term compared to what we have now.
That is assuming PDP remains the ruling Party forever. Besides, the twists introduced in Nigerian scripts by some force majeure in recent times should make even the staunchest supporter of ‘zoning’ wary of high expectations.
Nigerians have not yet devised means to hold elected officers accountable. As a matter of fact, the closest the Electorate gets to justice is by ‘voting out’ underachievers. Denying them of this last resort is extremely frustrating. Recent turn of events has left some bile on the tongues of those who voted for ‘the man and not his Party’ in the last elections. If a product can be separated outright from its brand, there will be no reason for anyone to prefer Coke to Pepsi or vise versa.
That brings me to the incumbency factor. Would this Term-Limit stop the incumbent from imposing his own Stooge?
With the PDP Board of Trustees (BOT) headship seat being the exclusive privilege of an Elected/Selected President who has served his full term, the Obasanjo (OBJ) Third-Term agenda was only defeated in principle, not in practice. While the myth pervading the South-West currently assumes a decline in OBJ’s influence, his fingerprints are so ‘everywhere’ you don’t need a forensic expert to pick them.
Should Goodluck Jonathan graciously step down in 2015 as promised, he becomes the only contender (against OBJ) for that BOT headship seat. Win or lose, should the PDP win in 2015 again, the incoming President would only be an OBJ-GEJ (and possibly UMY (Umar Musa Yar Adua’s ghost’s) appendage.
How does that put paid, then, to Do-or-Die Politics?
Was the then incumbent Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu seeking re-election when Funsho Williams was gruesomely murdered? Was there any known attempt on the same Funsho Williams’ life when he contended against Tinubu in 2003?
The unfortunate Post-Election violence of 2011 appears to be the one with massive carnage in recent times, for Goodluck Jonathan to say the desire of the incumbent to perpetuate himself in power is responsible for do-or-die politics….I will only advise it does not amount to an unwitting self-indictment.
I found something really interesting from the recent remarks of Lt.-General Jeremiah Useni (rtd) at the emergency meeting held with the President on Boko Haram. He claims the sect was originally set up by politicians to rig elections in Borno State but had gone out of hand. Question: Does that put Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf on the same pedestal as Asari Dokubo? The average Nigerian militant groups; are they mere rag-tag teams who seek seasonal recruitments and some largesse from the Federal Government? Does the Term-Limit, consequently, hold the innate ability to put paid every form of Pre-Syn-Post-Electoral Violence?
I personally think Dr Goodluck Jonathan should focus his energy on delivering his campaign promises, including the ‘Domestic Airports in every State in Nigeria with Jigawa as the focal point’ (whatever that means to that man on the Street) instead of providing us with so much Entertainment. His investment in the Entertainment Industry should take good care of that.
*Slots in a Bob Marley CD, singing along…Ahn Ahn..Ahn Ahn Ahn..Johnny was a good man!*