Reps reject six year-single term for President, governors

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

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The Nigerian House of Representatives has rejected a bill seeking to provide for a single-six-year-tenure for the President and Governors.

The constitutional amendment bill seeks to also provide for an unlimited term of six years for members of the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly.

Sponsor of the bill, MR. John Dyegh from Benue State explained that the bill  will address the high turnover of lawmakers been experienced every four years, which he says affects the quality of bills and motions chunned out by the parliament.

According to him “Since 1999, the percentage of new members who lack institutional experience in law making have been on the increase which has a negative effect on the National and State Houses of Assemblies, because most of the lawmakers have not been retained beyond single terms and they need to stay longer to gain experience.

The Bill does not seek tenure elongation for the Executive as the Bill seeks to come into effect from 2023 and a 6 year single tenure would not give people occupying government seats the opportunity to use state funds to get reelection.”

Supporting the Bill, Mr. Sagius Ogun from Edo State said it would save the country the huge funds used to conduct General elections every four-years and curb the do or die attitude of some politicians.

Mr. Ogun noted that the race to secure a second term is usually the biggest challenge members of the Executive face, distracting them form delivering on their campaign promises.

“The proposal will help in addressing the energy and resources being channeled to retain power at all cost by elected representative s which most times begin immediately after the elections.” Mr. Ogun argued.

But Yusuf Adamu Gagdi from Plateau State opposed the Bill saying bringing the Bill at this time will add to the already existing apprehension about 2023 which he said will portray the 9th Assembly as planning to make laws that will extend their tenure.

According to him, “The present four years term for President and Governors should be retained because tampering with the present arrangement will have negative consequences to the Nation.”

Mr. Gagdi also advocated for electoral reforms and laws that will make elected officials more accountable to the people rather than the six year single tenure been proposed.

Mr. Haruna Isa from Kano State faulted the timing of the billing, saying already the National Assembly is been criticized for Constituency projects, adding that passing the bill at the moment will be misconstrued for tenure elongation for the present administration.

Also speaking, the Acting House Leader, Peter Akpatason said, the president had made it clear that, he is not interested in any tenure elongation and will not condone or support any move in that regard.

The Bill was later put to voice vote for Second reading by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase who presided over the plenary but was rejected by members.