Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Ekweremadu's Proposed Single Term For Presidents [details]


To solve some of the leadership challenges facing the country, the deputy Senate President has proposed single term of five or six years for Presidents. Dr Ike Ekweremadu advocated a single-term presidency for Nigeria and other African countries as a way of deepening democracy and good governance. He spoke while delivering a lecture - ‘Constitutionalism and the Challenges of Leadership in Africa: an Evaluation of Tested Models’ on Tuesday. According to NAN, the event was organised by the Centre for Media and Peace Initiatives, a New York-based international NGO to mark its 10th anniversary. He said, “A more modest proposal seeks not the abandonment of the presidential system per se but the re-designing of term limits for political chief executives.

“This is in order to reduce the acrimonious conflict, divisiveness and instability arising from partisan or factional competition for executive offices in the federation. “I support the proposals to transform the current tenure of two four-year terms into a single term of five or six years. “Among other advertised benefits, single terms would avoid the distractions, manipulations and divisiveness of re-election campaigns while facilitating a more rapid circulation or rotation of power among the various groups.” A single term is less costly as it will reduce the cost of conducting general elections every four years. Ekweremadu urged Nigeria and other African countries to learn from the failures and successes of older democracies, particularly, the Latin American democracies.
He said many of them transited from autocratic regimes to democracies, discovering that the politics of succession, including incumbents’ penchant for self-perpetuation, was overheating the system. As a solution, they adopted single term presidency until such a time their respective democracies matured and stabilised, he said. “It is for this reason that the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, which I chair, felt, in 2014, that a single term would serve the ends of our current democracy. “Unfortunately, the recommendation failed because ethnic suspicions and parochial interests prevented reasonable and good faith evaluation of our worthy proposal,” he said. Ekweremadu also suggested a rotational presidency among the ethnic groups or geographical zones, saying it might prove reassuring to ethnic groups and promote loyalty to the nation. According to him, the rotational presidency will reassure every constituent part that power will come their way at a given interval.

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