Monday, November 24, 2008

Those that follow Nigerian politics know that former President Obasanjo apparently sought to amend the Nigerian Constitution to grant him a third term. However, that attempt sparked outrage in the National Assembly and general public, in general. Despite that, many like retired General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma allege that Obasanjo handpicked Yar'Adua to fulfill his third term ambitions and maintain control over the nation.

However, in the current undemocratic atmosphere in Nigeria where bloggers are being detained, independent news channels and political programming is being shut down and journalists are being thrown in jail, the Joint Committee on Constitution Review (JCCR) is set to consider a proposal seeking a third term amendment to the Nigerian Constitution.

Nigeria's National Assembly has taken great strides what with the probe that exposed the deep rot in Nigeria's power sector. However, the National Assembly increased its pay by over 100% earlier this year in a country where over 90% of the people live on less than $2 a day. This same National Assembly also gave President Yar'Adua a pay hike earlier this year, gave 380 cars to the members of the House of Representatives and despite their 'objections' were powerless to prevent Nigeria from taking a risky $3 BN loan from the World Bank.

It is, therefore, difficult for me to see how the National Assembly can objectively decide for Nigerians that Yardy should get a third term as President. This is simply a matter of credibility based on the facts. So, unless there is an outcry similar to what occurred during Obasanjo's 'Third Term Agenda', it is quite possible that the 'Rule of Law' democracy that is Nigeria could end up with Yar'Adua as President until 2019. I would recommend a national vote on the issue but considering the fact that the Independent National Election Committee's leader, Maurice Mmaduakolam Iwu, criticized America's recent historic elections by saying amongst other incredible things that,
"They should learn to keep a voters' register and they should learn to hold elections in one day,"
I, unfortunately, have absolutely no faith that such an act would produce a verifiable mandate upon which the JCCR could proceed.

The challenge remains whether Nigerians will succumb to PPP and allow the democratic dream to completely give way to democratic delusion.

Thanks to N.I.M.M.O. for the Iwu name correction.

Related Article of Interest:
- Nigerian Curiosity of 2008 (Fashola and the 2011 Election)

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Anonymous said...

I think the issue shouldn’t be on how many terms a president has. If the president has little ideas and lack leadership qualities, even one term (4 years) is too long a time to be in office!

The constitutional review should address the core flaws in nation, primarily:

-Niger Delta and regional autonomy;
-Election fraud and accountability;
-Rule of law, law enforcement, security of life and property;
-Infrastructural needs – power, education, health etc.

Anonymous said...

3rd term? When I quoted that infamous report Mapping Sub-Saharan Africa's Future - Conference Report March 2005 a lot of people thought I was a white racist fool that is only looking at the dark side. It seemed as if the dark side has caught up with us. May the force be with you too as former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu remained unknownsince that graduation ceremony.

OBJ just like Abacha seemed to have left a horrible legacy. The US National Intelligence Council convened a group of top US experts on Sub-Saharan Africa to discuss likely trends in the region over the next 15 years. Downside scenarios included Nigeria as a failed state, dragging down a large part of the West African region (the signs are in the stars). The new report seemed to agree with the old one from 2005. Oil futures does not look too good anyway, so let us all look forward to those brave soldiers coming back. After all, names like Obasanjo, Yar'Adua are synonymous with army dictatorships.

Sherri said...

that's laff!
i came looking for a post on Ribadu's arrest..

Sherri said...


Anonymous said...

I think it is PRESUMPTIOUS of AllAfrica to state that Yar Adua will be the first beneficiary of this third term crap in the highly unlikely imaginary event that it sails through.

YarAdua will be a lucky bastard to get a second term at the rate he's going. Seriously. If YarAdua gets a second term, I'm becoming Camerounian.

guerreiranigeriana said...

...what in the world?!...my goodness!...the amazing just never ceases with nigeria huh?...i don't even know what to say here...*shakes her head and leaves*...

TheAfroBeat said...

I sure hope the likes of those who stood up the first time around (and had the power to get themselves heard) will do so again, otherwise may the average nigerian have the courage and collective will to stand up against such a sham as an objective consideration of the people's will on a 3rd term ammendment.

Anonymous said...

Third term for Yaradua, that's a laugh. Didn't Abacha want a life term, he got it didn't he?

N.I.M.M.O said...

I read the story on Allafrica.com several times and did not see anywhere that UMYAwn WILL get a 3rd nor did he ask for one.

" According to Dambatta, "everybody is free to submit proposal, and there is going to be consultations and so on. And once that issue (third term) comes before the committee, I am sure they will do justice to it, whatever issue that will come up before that Committee."

If we permit Hon Dambatta's 'Nigerian' English, this statement simply suggests that IF the proposal comes up, the committee will consider it.

And it is only right that they should look at the proposal before throwing it into the nearest dustbin.

Definitely there are enough political jobbers in Nigeria who are Tenure Elongation Proposal Specialists. They will simply dust up the old editions they used from Babangida (those old enough will remember 'Four More For More'), Abacha to OBJ and simply change the names and dates.

However, I do not think there's any cause for alarm. Why would we create imaginary monsters and then complain of nightmares? Why do we like to die before its our time?

Nigeria will have a new President come 2011.

He will be introduced shortly .....


@ N.I.M.M.O.: "I think the issue shouldn’t be on how many terms a president has. If the president has little ideas and lack leadership qualities, even one term (4 years) is too long a time to be in office!"

I couldn't agree with you more. However, Nigeria does not need a to have a President that sits in Aso rock for a guaranteed 12 years, even if he or she is doing a great job. Power must always change hands. Good leaders can simply pave the way for others to come in and hopefully follow up. If they mess things up, well, that is the risk of democracy and until the Constitution states that Nigeria is not a democracy, then...

@ Beauty: May the force be with you, as well, my brother. That info you shared is saddening but unfortunately not shocking. However, if all parties realize that failure is not an option and choose to actually share the wealth, it is very possible that those potential scenarios will never come to be. I for one will do anything possible to prevent Nigeria from becoming a failed state because it is ultimately to no ones benefit.

@ Sherri: So good to see you. So you are looking for thoughts of the Ribadu saga, eh? My sista, wetin you wan make I talk? lol!

I don't think the guy has much of a future in Nigeria under this administration, but I could be wrong. Will put my brief thoughts up on the issue this week. Thanks for checking in.

@ Sugabelly: I am laughing so hard at your comment. Especially this one,

"If YarAdua gets a second term, I'm becoming Camerounian."

Well, unless Yardy chooses to not run for the second term, I will be surprised if the PDP did not win the Presidency next election. And when that happens, I can help you get your Cameroonian citizenship. My maternal grandmother was from Cameroon so, I might have some pull, lol! Just kidding.

Let us just watch and see. For all we know yardy will surprise us, honor his promise to increase power generation, bring peace to the Niger Delta, and get us even closer to becoming a top 20 economy before the next election. Anything can happen, it is Nigeria after all.

@ GNaija: *grabbing GNaija's arm* "Come back in here...!"

@ Afrobeat: Like I said above, anything can happen. Including that those who spoke up against OBJ's aspirations might not speak up in this situation if and when a 2/3 vote in the National Assembly is needed.

How are things?

@ Anonymous: Well, we all have to wait and see what happens because for all we know Yardy doesn't want a third term. But, who knows?

@ N.I.M.M.O.: Good to see you again. Excuse my bluntness, but you are the same person who thought I and others were 'overreacting' when Jonathan Elendu was thrown in an SSS cell and within days another Nigerian blogger got to enjoy the same SSS 'invitation'.

You will, thus, forgive me, if unlike you, I do not share your 'no cause for alarm" attitude or your ideas on "imaginary monsters and nightmares."

Yes, no where in the news report was it stated that Yardy asked for a third term. And, I am sure that you realize that nowhere in my post was it stated that Yardy asked for a third term, either. That, nonetheless, does not prevent me and other concerned citizens from being ever vigilant in the protection of the 'democracy' that Nigeria has. Any talk of expanding the presidential term limitations should be taken seriously by every Nigerian and not deemed an imaginary monster". But, alas, that is just my humble opinion.

When that new President of yours rears his/her head "come 2011", I and others will be waiting. Hopefully, he or she, will be in a position to take advantage of Nigeria's great promise for the benefit of a majority of the nation's citizens. When that person comes along, they will definitely get my support whether they succeed or fail.

take care.

Anonymous said...

Has he expressed this clearly, about a third term??

He will certainly die from the pressure before his time is out. As much as he hates to hear it, he is quite unwelll. He should spend his time aiding economical and political development of our country- leaving a legacy.

I intend to run for office-

Geebee said...

I look forward to a Nigeria where the leader would not be the one to tell the citizens he wishes to continue to lead them, but where the citizens (not the sychophants now) would beg the leader to go on. The postulation 'Power corrupts' is the truest of all assumptions made in recent times and it applies to our country, Nigeria in many ways. Somehow it has become a taboo for a leader to serve out his tenure of four years and decide to leave peacefully. There's always some unfinished business that noone else can continue except that leader. Why must 'tenure elongation' be an issue. I don't believe it is a do-or-die thing to rule a country. Where did these so-called leaders throw the 'do your best and leave the rest' saying?

I would be most surprised come 2011 if Yaradua decides not to go for a second term. I'm expecting him to go and I bet so is everyone around here and I sit back and wonder; Second term? To do what? Here's a man who's not done a single remarkable thing in almost two years in office except shutting the Press up in every way he can - through detentions, arrests and the likes. When does he hope to achieve something tangible? In his second term probably or better still, in the third term of his dreams . . . I can imagine what would have happened had Obasanjo gotten his wish for a third term. Sometimes I weep for Nigeria and I wish I was from someplace else but then what's yours is yours. No one is gonna change things except us.

The Activist said...

I do not intend to sound like God but is Yardy sure to even live thru this first 4 yrs? Th guy is a sick man. And if he lived thru this first 4 yrs, who assured him of a second term?

Forget all the rigging, political godfatherism and all the nonsense that plaque our electorial system and leadership. We will make change. We will have our wish of good governance and leadership soon. We can and we will

N.I.M.M.O said...

@Solomonsydelle: (How on earth did we even get shorten that to 'SSD'?

I think we agree that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. What I ask is that we should try as much as possible to link what happens to a reason. A fact. Not just an opinion or a fear we have.

I also know that politics is the business of the 'Unsaid'. For all we write and we say, a lot of what happens in politics happens because of what is unsaid (not said).

For all we have said and written about the 'JE Saga' (as well as Asiwe Asiwe), have you heard anything from either side lately? A lot is unsaid.

Nuff said.

On UMYAwn and 3rd term; Maybe your choice of title is too suggestive. If it had been 'Yardy MAY Get A 3rd Term; maybe that would have been less ominous.

Besides, the Constitution guarantees him a term of four years. Even if he's going to spend the four years twiddling his thumbs or lying on a hospital bed, its his prerogative. His legacy to history.

We all put him there by our collective actions and inactions in 2007. Allow him.

About 2011; there is a groundswell presently among those who should be interested. I am here flying a kite for a new President come 2011. I am sure that when Obama said he was going to run for the POTUS in 2004, not many took him serious. The time to prepare is now.

UMYAwn will most likely not contest in 2011 but even if he does, we must be on ground to defeat the PDP machinery.

You know I have always pledged my support whenever you declare to contest the Presidency. 2011 is still some time away.

Interestingly, Jaja has thrown his hat in the ring. We may not need to look far for a running mate...

Me and my kites ...

N.I.M.M.O said...

@Beauty: You're already '... looking forward to those brave soldiers coming back...'. And next thing you'll say you don't hear any good news about Nigeria. I guess if we have a military government in Nigeria you will have enough 'good news' to share with your friends in the 'civilized' world.

That'll be 'good news' to them, abi? So you can continue to pontificate on what is a 'failed state' and what is not.

Some people get problem ...

N.I.M.M.O said...

... and the man's name is Maurice, not Michael. Professor Maurice Iwu, the Chairman of INEC.

You probably almost mixed him up with Michael Aondoakaa SAN, AGF and Minister of Justice, 'The Defender of the Powerful', 'Ribadu's Nemesis' and as far as UMYAwn is concerned, he is 'The Law'.

Jinta said...

i agree with beauty's comments - we have failed as a state, the only problem is that we are too quick to forget that the military are even worse.

there is only one solution. jerry rawlings comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, with respect to Nigerian issues, i think i have finally found a new dimension (the 3rd side of the coin) to it. We should all collectively (but, individually in our own small circles) begin to demand what is right. Hence, we ourselves do what is right and not accept what is wrong ...........a ripple effect will definitely be generated.

In the same light, we should have at the back of our minds that; 'cos some people (oops, Iwu, PROs, image-makers et al) are given public audience (in the media), it does not equate intellectual depth to them.
As such, i say, let us not dignify such people with our responses.

io said...

he has barely completed half his first term and they are scheming for a 3rd term already.

oh i get the joke, they start early so by that time they are on time. correct? Nigerians are not militant but i fear they'll make us turn that corner soon. THEY ARE TESTING OUR PATIENCE!

princekay123 said...

It is disheartening that Nigeria with all her oil, mineral resources, agricultural potentials and human resources is yet to be listed among top industrialised nations. It is a shame on our leader; it is a confirmation that they are all failures.

I strongly believe there is nothing wrong with Yar'adua; the problem is our corrupt system. With all sense of honesty, I dare say every one in this country is either corrupt or has a potency of getting corrupt if entrusted with political power. What we need is a recultivation of social values. We also need to craft a very good constitution. Let every community (not states) send their nominees to attend a sovereign conference where the constitution will be drafted. We can't keep ratifying the constitution the military 'boys' imposed on us.

As for those NASS members, their days are nmbered!

Anonymous said...

@gbengasile 's I look forward to a Nigeria where the leader would not be the one to tell the citizens he wishes to continue to lead them, but where the citizens (not the sychophants now) would beg the leader to go on. is the future we all desire as so called terrorists terrorize Mumbai. In Thailand, the people have taken over two airports in order to shout about their increadibly stupid government while the army is looking to take over.

The common theme here is simply people are fed up with the gap between the rich and poor while governments treat the treasury as their personal piggy bank. India sucks yet we are led to believe their space and nuclear industries make them a super power, I think not. It is a dirty country, just ask the gurus. The shame that Nigeria is going the way of the dodo is frightning and only by laying out the facts can we debate the issues. ps @gbengasile´s saga is awesome.

Anonymous said...

S, thanks for the link to @gbengasile, GEEBEE'S TRIP is a breath of fresh air that is part of our future. I see big things on that blog.

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