2nd August, 2011
Some lawmakers in Abuja on Monday expressed mixed feelings over the proposed six-year single tenure for the President and Governors.
President Goodluck Jonathan on July 26, said he would send an amendment bill to the National Assembly for a six-year single tenure for the offices, against the current four-year two tenures.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Rep. Bitrus Kaze (PDP-Plateau), said the proposed bill, if passed into law, would not mean much to members of the legislature as their tenure would not be affected.
â€œFor those of us in the National Assembly, it does not mean anything but for the executive, it means a lot.â€
He said there was nothing in the proposed bill which suggests that the president would benefit more than the others.
â€œThe President meant well for the country, there is nothing in the bill to show that he is selfish.â€
Bitrus said the bill would encourage office holders to execute their agenda.
â€œIf you have an irresponsible office holder, there is the tendency for him or her to only represent his or her constituency.â€
He said the bill would eliminate the power of incumbency factor as there would not be a second tenure for office holders.
Rep. Abubakar Momoh (ACN-Edo), described the proposed bill as a good development as long as it would stem the number of people running for second tenure.
According to him, current occupants of political offices must not benefit from the amendment sought by the bill.
Rep. Samson Osagie (ACN-Edo), described the proposed bill as diversionary and a deliberate attempt by the executive to abandon critical issues on ground.
â€œWe should direct our energy to problems confronting us rather than focus on issue of tenure.â€
He posited that the proposal would not reduce tension and the cost of conducting elections.
According to him, political office holders will be more daring in their dealings, knowing that they will not come back to canvass for a second term.
Rep. Alphonsus Irona (PDP-Imo), said â€œwe should be patient until we see the content of the billâ€.
He said the proposed bill, if passed into law, might reduce tension among contestants in elections.