Re: Revisiting Jonathan’s single term proposal by Simon Abah
I refer to Anthony Akinola’s opinion piece with the above title in The Guardian of 01 November 2018.
I have read his many pieces in this medium and elsewhere and I respect the author’s views for many reasons one of which is that both of us are advocates of rotational presidency in Nigeria.
Having read the above piece I disagree, although respectfully, that the problem with Nigeria’s political scene is not about tenure of politicians in office but the odd democratic system she endorses.
The proposal for a single term of six-year for presidents and governors therefore is humbug because it wouldn’t address anything other than merry-go-round as always, sweating the small stuffs of road construction, digging of bore holes, the construction of classrooms and the provision of seats and televising them for viewers to see to give God the glory.
Nigeria’s political system is an all-comer affair, political parties do not have clear cut agendas and many party chairmen are comic actors dancing to the tune of state governors and have moved away from promoting party agendas, isn’t this why there are defectors here and there because party chairmen lack the tact to make members stay the party course. And what’s worse, experience, mentorship, onboarding, professionalism, integrity count for nothing in today’s political corridor.
Men who have both excelled in industry and academia are not in politics because Men with guns have chased them out of politics.
We cannot expect not to groom people for political offices and expect change and development.
I thought one gubernatorial contender of a major party close to Abuja a clown because I saw his many flyers advertising the several boreholes he dug for his community and more to come until he clinched the ticket to contest next year’s election. I couldn’t believe it.
This supposed clown is the flagbearer of a major political party; if he wins the gubernatorial elections he will go on celebrating the construction of more bore holes.
Even President Goodluck Jonathan that the writer mentioned ruined the chance for rotational presidency the same way president Olusegun Obasanjo did.
The players in Nigeria do not keep agreements, they are only interested in making history, there are too many small political persons here and that is the problem.
If Harry Truman were a Nigerian he might have unquestionably served out four terms in office as president the same way Franklin Delano Roosevelt submitted efforts and won four elections as president but died whilst serving his fourth term, come to think of it, there was no tenure limit until Truman personally decided against running which heralded the emergence of term limit, it was even Truman (Democrat) who asked his friend in the opposite party (Republican) Dwight Eisenhower to run for office of president, can you believe that.
Truman reasoned that Dwight Eisenhower had the stature to unite Americans after the war, if Lyndon Johnson were a Nigerian, no matter the Vietnam like protest march he would have sought re-election as president, nothing would have stopped him.
So the rotten system of blind ambition and for power not for collaboration to repair but to destroy is our bane not tenure of office.
Why would people in their mid-seventies for instance still be attracted to rule? Shouldn’t they be at the background directing good people on how to rule, even spending their money for laudable causes? The environment doesn’t define people, it shapes their world view, it also influences but ours has defined us and banished thought leadership which is more important than the number of years anyone serves in office.
Here is what a typical Nigerian politician would say once he is given a one-time six-year tenure cheque to cash at the bank, this is my time to chop and quench. He wouldn’t work.
What will work is having a strong political system peopled with alchemists not opportunists.
I am sure the writer forgot to mention George Washington, he would have served more than two terms in office as president of The United States if he wanted to because he was begged to continue as president after two terms but he said that he was tired and needed to step down and rest.
Someone not long ago in Nigeria even attempted to change the constitution to run for three terms.
Harry Truman probably followed the lead of great leaders before him. Where are such leaders in Nigeria?Read More
Abah wrote from Abuja