Sunday, June 16, 2013

6-Year Single Tenure: Proposal’s Unfair, Presidency Insists

The Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, on Saturday said the Presidency was unperturbed over the insistence of the Senate Committee on the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution that the single term proposal must begin in 2015.

Gulak, who spoke in an exclusive interview, was reacting to a statement in an interview granted by Chairman of the committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, that the commencement date would not be changed to 2019 as proposed by the Presidency because the President had not declared his intention to seek a second term.

But the Presidential aide insisted that the issue at stake was not whether they (the President and governors) had shown interest, but whether it was fair for the Senate to change the rule in the middle of the game.

Gulak said the Presidency was not losing sleep on the matter because the report of Ekweremadu’s committee remains a proposal that still requires the input of other lawmakers both at the national and state assemblies.

He said, “We are not losing sleep. Our position has always been that because the Senate committee made a recommendation does not necessarily means that the proposal will scale through.

“The recommendation will still be debated in plenary and it will still go to state Houses of Assembly. So it is not yet an amendment.

“The issue at stake is not whether the President and the governors have declared their interests or not.

“What we are asking is that were these people not elected under a constitution that allows them to run for maximum of two terms? Will it be fair to them if their right to contest a second term is trampled upon? Will it be fair to change the rules in the middle of a game?”

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