-Senator Ike Ekweremadu advocates a single term rotational presidency for Nigeria.
-This will reduce the cost of elections and eliminate the sit-tight syndrome affecting some African leaders.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has voiced his support for Nigeria and other African countries to adopt a single-term presidency of five or six years in order to further entrench democracy and good governance.
The Senator made the submission on Tuesday while delivering a lecture entitled: ‘Constitutionalism and the Challenges of Leadership in Africa: an Evaluation of Tested Models’.
Speaking at the event organised by the Centre for Media and Peace Initiatives, a New York-based international NGO to mark its 10th anniversary, Ekweremadu stressed the single term proposition will ensure power is easily spread across all zones in a country like Nigeria.
“A more modest proposal seeks not the abandonment of the presidential system per se but the re-designing of term limits for political chief executives.
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“This is in order to reduce the acrimonious conflict, divisiveness and instability arising from partisan or factional competition for executive offices in the federation.
“I support the proposals to transform the current tenure of two four-year terms into a single term of five or six years.
“Among other advertised benefits, single terms would avoid the distractions, manipulations and divisiveness of re-election campaigns while facilitating a more rapid circulation or rotation of power among the various groups.”
According to him, a rotational, single term presidency is less costly as it will reduce the cost of conducting general elections every four years and eliminate the concentration of power in a single zone or ethnic group.
“It is for this reason that the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, which I chair, felt, in 2014, that a single term would serve the ends of our current democracy.
“Unfortunately, the recommendation failed because ethnic suspicions and parochial interests prevented reasonable and good faith evaluation of our worthy proposal,” he said.
“Therefore, it may well be time to re-visit the idea of rotational presidency that was first muted in Nigeria by late military Head of State Sani Abacha,” he said.
He also suggested a modification of the present presidential system to reduce power available to the president and create a balanced share of power between the executive and the legislative arms of government.
“To this end, a hybrid of both the presidential and parliamentary systems will go a long way in keeping the presidency in check, while also reaping the benefits inherent in presidential system,” he added.
Source: Naija News