Nigeria: Presidency Seeks First Term Governors’ Support On Single Tenure Bill

The Presidency is seeking the support of the first term governors ahead of the proposed single tenure bill it intends to send to the National Assembly.

Report says on Friday that the Presidency had begun work on the bills on state creation and a new revenue allocation formula.

Investigations showed that the first term governors were being wooed with the promise that the proposed single tenure bill would contain clauses, which would allow them to contest the 2015 governorship poll.

Governors from all the parties except Action Congress of Nigeria members, had indicated that they would support the bill because it would allow them to spend 10 years in office.

The governors currently on their first term are Patrick Yakowa (Kaduna State); Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa); Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Kassim Shetima (Borno); and Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara).

An official from the presidency said in Abuja, “President Goodluck Jonathan has consistently said that he will not contest the 2015 poll. This is his personal decision. This doesn’t prevent the first term governors from contesting because the implementation of the proposed law will take effect in 2015. It cannot take a retroactive effect.”

He added that the President would not be dissuaded by the criticisms of the opposition, which he believed was born out of the suspicion that he might be nursing an ambition to extend his tenure in office.

Investigations show that many members of the National Assembly do not really have any serious issue with the bill, apart from the suspicion that the President might want to stay beyond 2015.

It gathered that the Presidency was optimistic as the issue of the single term bill would not be the only subject of national importance when topical issues on the amendment of the constitution were raised.

It was gathered that the President would send a bill on the amendment of the constitution on the critical issue of true federalism, revenue allocation and state creation.

The official said some of the issues involved were dear to various interest groups that they might not allow a bill on single tenure to rubbish their struggle to realize the gains of state creation and true federalism.

It was gathered that the Presidency was not bothered by the seeming opposition to the planned bill by the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Congress for Progress Change, as the two opposition parties were expected to go their different ways as was the case in the days before the election when different interests tore their planned alliance apart.

The bill will only affect the second term governors, who will go in 2015. It will not affect first term governors.

Ogun State governor, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Mrs. Funmi Wakama, said the proposed six-year single term was a constitutional matter that would be debated by legislatures across the country.

She said the governor was at the moment pre-occupied with the task of delivering on his five-point agenda and electoral promises to the people of the state.

Also, the governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, said he was so preoccupied with the efforts to continue to provide good governance and deliver democratic dividends in Kwara State that he would not comment on such an issue for now.

Oba said, “The governor is preoccupied with making a positive statement in the lives of Kwara residents who gave him that privilege to be their governor in the next four years.

“He is preoccupied with making a difference in the shortest possible time rather than talking about the future. He is living the future to God.”

He, therefore, advised the Federal Government to implement policies that would be people-centred rather than saddling itself with unnecessary commitments that had no direct bearing on national development.

  1. Amanze Chika Reply

    State creation? All that is needed in this area is to create a new state in the southeast, as agreed upon during the OBJ administration.

  2. Anonymous Reply

    Selfish governors! Why wont they support it? They kip getting while d poor gets poorer! No inovations or gud plans 4 d ruled! People are dying of bomb blast,they are busy talking about tenure elongation! SHAME!

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