AS OPINIONS continue to divide Nigerians from all walks of life on how successive administrations had fared in the country since the return of democracy in 1999, former President Goodluck Jonathan has cited time as crucial to performance.
Jonathan stated this yesterday at a summit in Niamey, Niger Republic while delivering an address on constitutional term limits, noting that four-year terms provided in most constitutions for presidents are too short for those who want to change the country. But he further explained that while four years is too short, staying in office for 14 years is also extravagant.
“When Professor Wade (Senegal) was in his last tenure, he changed the constitution and extended the term limits from five to seven years. He thought he would win the election. But Macky Sall reduced it to five years. We must commend dynamic leaders like that. There is no need for one person to sit for 14 years, doing what? The country is not your personal estate.
Countries are free to amend their laws. Just like the president of Niger Republic said, different nations have different ways of doing things, so it is better they have their own way of doing things. I agree to that. Most countries in Africa emulate America – that is a stable country, and take four, four years like Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. Four years is quite a short period for a country that is developing for a person who wants to change the country to do much.
In Nigeria we just finished the election and some people are already talking about 2023 election. It is distracting. That is why some people come with the idea of a single tenure; so a president can sit down and plan all his programmes for the good of country. We are too distracted with these elections. Why must we waste money every four years to elect a leader? Those are the things that agitate our minds,” Jonathan said.