With Nigerians crying for him to get down to governance so that
they can begin to feel the impact of the office he took three
months ago, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan today shocked

them with a strange priority: tenure elongation. As he prepares to send the bill to
the National Assembly, the President was evidently wary of
the reaction of Nigerians, and he was quick to say that should the
legislature pass the bill, he will not personally be a beneficiary of

A statement signed by Reuben Abati, his Special Adviser on
Media and Publicity, indicated that Jonathan will be shooting
for “a single term for the President and Governors.”
The statement does not mention how many years Mr. Jonathan
will be asking for, but sources in the presidency say he will ask for
seven years for occupants of that office. It is doubtful he can
persuade Nigerians that the terms of the constitutional
amendment will not be negotiated with the legislature,
which is infamously led by his party, to enable him to stay in
office until 2018.

Mr. Abati, until recently a well-
known newspaper columnist, said the proposed constitutional
amendment, which will remind Nigerians of the failed 2006
effort by President Obasanjo to
obtain a third term in office, “is borne out of a patriotic zeal, after a painstaking study and belief
that the constitutionally guaranteed two terms for Presidents and Governors is not
helping the focus of Governance and institutionalization of
democracy at this stage of our development.”

In his strange new role as the President’s spin doctor, Mr. Abati tried to cast Jonathan’s
intentions as being selfless.“President Jonathan is concerned
about the acrimony which the issue of re-election, every four
years, generates both at the Federal and State levels,” he said.
“The nation is still smarting from the unrest, the desperation for
power and the overheating of the polity that has attended each
general election, the fall-out of all this is the unending inter and
intra-party squabbles which have affected the growth of party
democracy in the country, and have further undermined the
country’s developmental aspirations.”

A newspaper columnist who read the press statement this
evening could not stop laughing. “Mr. Jonathan is concerned about
desperation for power?” he asked. “He who could not resist
the temptation to snatch the Presidency? He is concerned about inter-party squabbles, yet
he single-handedly destroyed his party’s core structures to enable
him grab the presidency? Let the man simply tell us he is now the
President and he wants the job for life!”

Mr. Jonathan was inaugurated on
May 29, 2011, one year after he actually took the presidency
upon the death of his predecessor, Mr. Umaru
Yar’Adua. Since then, however, Nigerians have been waiting for
him to begin to fulfill the litany of promises he made to them on
the campaign trail. “Here we go again,” a political
analyst in Abuja said this evening. “The man has yet to
tackle one assignment and he is screaming for longer terms of
office. This is proof that power, not its use for public policy, is
what has always been on his mind.”

Another analyst was even less
charitable. He told SaharaReporters, “This man has
no clue what he is supposed to be doing. Now that he has been
given the keys to the presidential palace, he wants to use all kinds
of mago-mago to convert himself into president-for-life. If the
issue is good governance, let him provide it and not try to run
rings around the people.
SOURCE: Sahara Reporters

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