The six-year single term for federal and state executives, as being packaged by the Presidency for enactment by the National Assembly has been hailed as “a great idea”, by Sen. Barnabas Gemade.
But the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, on his part said the National Assembly would speak only when the Bill gets to it.
The former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a mobile phone chat with Leadership Sunday said the idea of a 6-year single tenure at the presidential and gubernatorial levels merited the consideration of the Parliament, and must not be made to look controversial.
He also argued that any individual or section of the country opposed to the presidential proposal should make a superior suggestion or let the idea sail through.
“There is nothing wrong with a single term of six years. We should not subject the issue to an indecent debate. We must let it be: it is a constitutional matter that has to be left to the common will of the people. The people who are condemning it are making a big mistake.
“In a democracy you don’t criticise based on the inadequacies in the interpretation of an issue by the people.
“The people criticising this idea in the media should be careful as to how they go about it. This is what concerns the polity, so we need to subject it to a more decent discourse through appropriate channels,” he said.
He dismissed the controversy that had trailed the draft proposal as “Innuendoes being brought up to cast aspersions on the person of the president of the country” and challenged critics of the proposal to bring forth a superior idea on tenure or quit “peddling rumours”.
The former national chairman of the defunct Congress for National Consensus (CNC) also sued for calm on the issue, and added that, “The country must be at peace. This issue of a tricky plot by the Presidency to extend tenure does not arise”.
But the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Ihedioha, through his chief press secretary, Mr. Oke Epia, said, “We are yet to see the Bill. When we see it, we will know what to do or say”.
But a former presidential legislative aide and a PDP chieftain in Delta State, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, in a phone chat with this reporter, said the proposal was in the works and was yet to be hatched.
“There is no bill ready to be presented to the National Assembly on zoning, as far as I am concerned. The idea is just being worked by a committee. For now, there is nothing ready for presentation to the National Assembly”, he said.
a former chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Ojougboh called on Nigerians to exercise patience and restraint in their reaction to the issue.
It will be recalled that the president had, two weeks ago, through his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, hinted that a draft proposal for a Bill to provide a single term of six years for governors and the president, but despite the president’s insistence that he would not benefit from the proposal which would be slated to commence after his four years in office, for federal and state executives, the idea has continued to generate controversy.