NIGERIA: House Counters Senate, Recommends Retention of Two Terms of Four Years

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Contrary to the position canvassed by the Senate, the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution review is seeking the retention of the two terms of four years each,  for the president, vice-president, governors and their deputies.

Already, the report of the committee is said to have been ready, and will be made available “by the time we come back from break, we will present it on the floor of the House, because it will come as a single bill,  it will go through the process of first reading and second reading; then a public hearing and afterwards it will come back to the floor of the House and we will adopt the report then it becomes a clean act that Mr. President will assent to.”

The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Hon Zakari Mohammed, dropped the hint about the committee's position during an interview with journalists in Ilorin, the  Kwara State capital Tuesday.

Last week, the Senate submitted its report on the constitution review recommending a six-year single term for the president, vice-president and governors.

Mohammed, who said the House's position on the issue was the true reflection of the vast majority of Nigerians cautioned Nigerians, not think the Senate’s recommendation came from all members of the National Assembly.

According to him, “We are bringing out own report soon. In the report we have retained the structure of four years, two terms as it is in the constitution. When we present our report, of course there will be conference committee between the Senate and House of Representatives".

He explained that: “If they don’t agree there will be conference and it is about 360 members of the House of Representatives and 109 Senators. At the end of the day the position of the House would be in order'.

Mohammed added, "We went down to Nigerians, 360 federal constituencies and everybody in the 360 wanted a retention of the four years two terms as enshrined in the constitution. That is the judgment that we brought from the people, because our own constitution review was people based and it was an opportunity to interface with our people".

The lawmaker posited that, “Rather than mix it up we need to be very clear. The Senate had submitted its own report, our report is ready, by the time we come back from the break we will present it on the floor of the House.”

On the granting of Peoples Democratic Party (PD) automatic ticket for President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2015 election by the Board of Trustees chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, the House spokesperson said “that is undemocratic. Let everybody go to the field and test his popularity. It means that party men have a say again. The party men must be given the opportunity to select the best of their choice, who can go in and face the other people. Maybe the BoT chairman was quoted out of context, because I know he should know better.

“What I know there must be time check after four years. People must be given the allowance to assess if the administration is worth giving another chance,” he said.

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