Atiku Abubakar, former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, has reacted to the rejection of a bill seeking to provide for a single tenure of six years for president and governors.
EQUITYNEWs.NG had reported that the bill also seeks to provide an unlimited term of six years for members of the National Assembly and state houses of assembly.
The bill, sponsored by John Dyegh from Benue state, scaled second reading at Tuesday’s plenary session.
However, during the debate on the floor of the house on Tuesday, many lawmakers kicked against the bill, arguing that there was nothing wrong with the system Nigeria currently operates.
But reacting, Atiku in a statement released by his Special Adviser on Media, Paul Ibe on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the rejection of the bill.
According to him, the rejection of the bill was a mistake because little attention was paid to its merits.
He stated that ‘the lawmakers have thrown away the baby with the bath water at the expense of the larger interest of the country.
He said, “in view of the challenges facing our current democratic order, especially the culture of rigging that subverts the will of the people, six-year single term would have ended such untoward practices in our electoral process.
“The desperation for second term by the incumbents is the main reason why they go for broke and set the rule book on fire, thereby making free and fair elections impossible by legitimizing rigging at the expense of their challengers that have no access to public funds.
“A situation where the incumbents deploy more public resources to their second term projects than using the funds for people’s welfare encourages massive rigging that undermines electoral integrity.”
“Six-year single term would remove such desperation and enable the incumbents concentrate on the job for which they were elected in the first place.”
“I don’t agree with the logic that eight years would give elected leaders better opportunity to fulfil their campaign promises. An inherently incompetent incumbent will perform below average even if you give him/her 20 years in office or give him or her $20 billion dollars”, Atiku stressed.
“Second term obsession rewards incompetence by allowing failed incumbents to be reelected regardless of their performance record. It also denies political parties the opportunity to replace failed incumbents with better candidates within the parties in the name of right of first refusal”.
He added that eight-year tenure of four years each sacrifices merit because the incumbents are automatically entitled to reelection regardless of their performance records.
Atiku, however, maintained that current holders of the offices under the proposed constitutional review should not be entitled to a six-year term at the expiration of their second term.