The Single-Term Distraction

August 2, 2011

As has become customary, the Nigerian polity is again heated with matters far removed from the acute developmental challenges facing the country. NVS Standpoint unequivocally rejects President Jonathan's ill-timed and ill-thought attempt to impose a constitutional amendment of tenureship on the country.


Without trying to pontificate, NVS Standpoint questions why President Jonathan believes this to be the most appropriate time to push for a single six-year term for the president. All of the energy being expended in denials and counter denials of his motive would have been better spent strategizing on how to tackle the dismal security situation in which the country is trapped. All of the time, invested in meetings, drafting speeches, issuing press releases and convincing "stakeholders" would have been used to develop a blueprint for moving the national economy from its stagnant position.

The National Assembly has more serious legislative concerns facing it at this time than to be pre-occupied with a matter as weighty as a divisive and irrelevant constitutional amendments. The Nigerian people are suffering heavily under the burden of uncaring leadership; President Goodluck was seen by some as a breath of fresh air, but from emerging indications, the Jonathan Years may simply be business as usual. In our view, that would be a historic tragedy that must be avoided.

We therefore call on President Jonathan to focus on the immediate challenge before him: how to lift the masses of our people from poverty, insecurity and cynicism. Unlike a constitutional amendment, this challenge cannot wait.