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)