The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has condemned the proposed six-year single term for the president and state governors proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Osita Okechukwu in Abuja on Wednesday, the CNPP alleged that Mr Jonathan is merely diverting the attention of Nigerians from the looting going on in the country and also in a bid to elongate his tenure.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“CNPP joins the league of Nigerian patriotic democrats to condemn in no uncertain terms the reckless move by President Goodluck Jonathan and his Ã¢â‚¬ËœFood is ReadyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ politicians to not only divert the attention of Nigerians from the looting going on in the land under his watch, railroad Nigerians into forum shopping; but to elongate his tenure through the back door,Ã¢â‚¬Â the statement said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Otherwise, we cannot remember when President Jonathan canvassed tenure elongation during his presidential campaign and cannot locate how the extension of tenure will improve the welfare or security of Nigerians who today are groaning under the yoke of functioning anarchy, which is sliding dangerously into a failed state.Ã¢â‚¬Â The group said it is regrettable and pitiable that rather than submit an Executive Bill to alter the constitution to institute true federalism in the country, the president is proposing a Bill on tenure elongation allegedly aimed at self-glorification.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If President Jonathan is truly committed to free and fair election, he could have submitted an Executive Bill which will incorporate the core recommendations of the Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Report in the Constitution; rather, a tepid attempt to extend his tenure.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Bill to elongate the tenure of the office of the president and governors from all indication is not only in bad faith, inconsequential, diversionary; but has exposed the perfidy of the Jonathan regime.Ã¢â‚¬Â The CNPP also noted that the tenure elongation cannot prevent politicians from rigging elections and foisting surrogates on the electorate.
More reactions from opposition parties
Describing the plan as Ã¢â‚¬Å“fraudulent, deceptively self serving and a terrible misadventure,Ã¢â‚¬Â the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in a statement on Wednesday stated that the plan is Ã¢â‚¬Å“nothing but tenure elongation by subterfuge, and it is worse than the third term misadventure of his Godfather (referring to former President; Olusegun Obasanjo).
The party expressed concern that the plan could prove to be a divisive issue that will further threaten the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“fragile unity.Ã¢â‚¬Â It questioned why three months after the presidents inauguration, all he has come up with is a bill to amend the Constitution so the President and state governors can serve only one term while Nigerians are daily being subjected to hellish living.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“How is this issue more important than taking measures to grow our moribund economy; or to ensure that millions of our jobless youths are gainfully employed? How does this check the widespread insecurity of lives and property in the land, especially in areas under the stranglehold of Boko Haram? How are the so-called merits of the plan, which its promoters said include checking the acrimony that accompanies re-election campaign, more important than making kerosene, diesel and Jet-A1 abundantly available to slash the rising costs? How does this project turn around the appalling state of our infrastructure? And how does it check the spiralling exchange rate of the Naira to the major currencies, with its bandwagon effects?Ã¢â‚¬Â the party asked.
Also, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), on Wednesday, criticised the proposed tenure elongation bill, saying President Jonathan is deluding himself by considering sending the bill to the National Assembly.
In a statement by its spokesman, Rotimi Fashakin in Abuja, the CPC alleged that the proposal could be part of the agenda concealed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the last general elections. Ã¢â‚¬Å“What is evident is that the PDP as a party has short-changed the Nigerian people. Was this part of the agenda that was concealed before the April Elections? For a Government that is failing in all parameters of good governance to be contemplating on Ã¢â‚¬ËœsubtleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ tenure elongation (within three months of inauguration) is an affront on the peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sovereignty! This, we believe, must stridently be resisted by the good people of Nigeria,Ã¢â‚¬Â it said.
Also yesterday, the Human Rights WritersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), rejected the proposal for a single six-year term for the president and governors.
The group also asked Mr Jonathan to stop the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from his crusade for the introduction of Islamic banking, as the issue has severely divided Nigerians along religious lines and is threatening the unity and continuous existence of Nigerians as one corporate entity.
HURIWA said it was wrong and insensitive for the president to keep promoting such a politically divisive agenda like the proposed constitutional changes on tenure limitations even if he would not benefit since the core component of the mandate offered to him by a majority of Nigerian voters in the 2011 April election is for this federal government to find solution to the twin evils of insecurity and poverty.
It said Mr Jonathan owes posterity a duty of formulating and practically implementing key economic policies, programmes and projects that are aimed at pragmatically checking and minimising the unprecedented crises of poverty, unemployment and corruption