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NEWS : Reps reject Buhari’s third-term agenda

The House of Representatives, Tuesday rejected a bill seeking to provide for a single tenure of six years for president and governors. We learnt that the constitutional amendment bill also seeks to provide for an unlimited term of six years for members of the national assembly and state houses of assembly. The bill, sponsored by John Dyegh from Benue state, scaled second reading at today’s plenary session. However, during the debate on the floor of the house, many lawmakers kicked against the bill, arguing that there was nothing wrong with the system Nigeria currently operates. However, a few lawmakers including Sergius Ogun from Edo state argued it would save the country the funds used to conduct elections after the initial four-year tenure. “This bill intends to also save the money being spent in elections for the second term. It will save this country and our democracy,” Ogun said. Henry Archibong from Akwa Ibom state said the focus should be on improving Nigeria’s electoral process and not on the number of terms an elected official stays in office. “How can we make electoral processes and elections credible and less expensive,” he asked. “This is the issue we ought to address and not the number of terms.” Yusuf Gagdi from Plateau state concurred with him saying there is nothing wrong with the current system of four-year tenure with a limit of two tenures for the executive. He added that in an ideal democracy, “you cannot ask the president to perform a six-year tenure and expect a good performance.” “Our problem is our inability to respect our rules. Our democracy does not need six-year single term for the executive,” he said. “What it needs it to maintain what is in place for the executive and national assembly. What we need is to improve our elections and ensure we have a system that will not fail Nigerians. “It is not the time to say we will amend the tenure of the executive and the national assembly members.” Haruna Bello from Kano State also kicked against the bill, saying it will fuel the speculation of tenure extension for President Muhammadu Buhari.

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