Reps group proposes six-year single tenure for President, Govs

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A group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, on Monday, proposed some amendments to the 1999 Constitution which they believe will improve governance in the country. The group led by Ikenga Ugochinyere, member representing Ideato Federal Constituency, proposed a six-year single tenure for the President and the 36 state governors.

The group, the Reform Minded Legislators, said its proposals on the political and electoral reform bills going for second reading would help reduce the cost of governance and campaigns, unite the country, ensure a seamless transition, continuity, uninterrupted development, justice, equity, independence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), efficient use of state resources, tackle nepotism, state capture, and corruption in electoral processes. The lawmakers also sought the creation of offices for two Vice Presidents (VPs), one from the Southern region and the other from the Northern region of the country.

According to them, the first Vice President, would be a Succession VP, while the second VP would be a minister in charge of the economy, and both shall be ministers. The group also proposed an amendment to the Electoral Act 2022 to ensure that all governorship elections are held on the same day. The group said to be made of about 30 lawmakers also proposed “constitutional alteration to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones to ensure equal representation and reduce the desperation and tempo of agitation for the creation of states”.

Other proposals are: “Constitutional Amendment to provide that the President and the 1st Vice President shall come from the same part of the country (north or south) and the 1st Vice President shall become President whenever the President becomes incapacitated, i.e., V.P. (Succession), V.P. (Administration and Economy). “The financial autonomy and accountability of Local Government Councils by prescribing an independent Consolidated Local Government Council Account solely superintended by Local Councils and prescribing long-term imprisonment for any misuse of Local Government funds.”

The proposal for a six-year single tenure for political office holders as against the double terms of four years each had made the headlines in the past. Leading opposition figures like Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi called for single tenure for the office of the President after they lost the 2023 presidential poll to Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Both the Senate and the House of Representatives had in the past thrown out bills for a single term for political office holders.

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