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#OtvOPINIONS: Revisiting six-year single term BY Austine Uche-Ejeke



With the kind of acrimony brewing in the nation’s
polity now, it may not be out of place to revisit the
vexed issue of six-year single term for all executive
political holders in the country. When incumbent
president Goodluck Jonathan mooted the idea few
years ago, it was hounded out majorly by the
opposition on grounds that it was laden with hidden
agenda of self-perpetuation of the president in the
office. And that he was to be the chief beneficiary of
such arrangement.
But extant events in the polity and particularly as
the 2015 general elections gathers momentum have
shown that such arrangement may have been the
best option. And that we need not to have thrown
away the bath water with the baby. There are
serious great benefits to be derived from
implementation of that model of tenure duration in
governance. If for anything Nigerians should ponder
on the huge amount of money been expended every
four years to organize a charade they call election.
Analysis done so far indicates that Nigerian election
is reputed to be one of the most expensive in the
world. To put up a simple presidential election runs
into a trillion naira. What with just mere picking of
expression of interest form and nomination form
going as much as N27.5 million for one of the
political parties. Imagine what that kind of amount
could do to provide basic infrastructure to a
particular locality in the country. Huge amount of
money guzzled to run and organise election in the
country can complete many hopeless dilapidated
roads, provide functional schools and hospitals and
a whole lot of life enhancing projects that will be of
mutual benefits to the ordinary Nigerian.
Thus, a single term will in all honesty ensure among
other things a radical and drastic reduction on the
financial expenditures often associated with second
term election. Take for instance the activities of
particular group saddled with eliciting mass support
for the re-election bid of President Jonathan since
last year. Just try and compute and quantify the
amount so far expended by this group. It must have
run into several billions. These are mostly in form of
adverts, rallies, erecting of billboards and other
sundry activities. No wonder many see the group as
having the penchant for sycophancy that has
become so pathologically incessant in the so called
marketing of the acceptance of the President to the
populace for a return to the office the second time.
Yet nobody has even asked the source of those
funds. But the answer may not be farfetched as the
funds for merry-go-round jamboree could have
come from state coffers directly or indirectly. Same
scenario is replicated in the states where governors
angling for re-election since last year have
abandoned developmental policies and projects to
face prosecution of their comeback bid. Of course
this is fuelled by no other source than state
resources as they use it wilfully to oil their campaign
machine at the detriment of their various states. And
this is one of the bad fall-outs of the two-term
structure of our electoral system.
Another irrefutable merit of single term of six years
is that such arrangement will excuse the President
or Governor from unnecessary distraction of
working and planning for re-election immediately
after winning the first term election. This will make
them to have full concentration on public issues and
play less politics with national and state issues. It is
further observed that most incumbent President and
governors make very good use of their first term in
office mostly to score cheap political points. They
go out of their way to perform exceptionally well.
This is to give them credence and launch pad for re-
election. A case in point is that of Lagos State
Governor Babatunde Fashola who is reputedly
marked as performing during his first term only for
him to relax and almost perform next to nothing in
this his second missionary journey.

Earlier featured on Opinions.ng

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