Six-year Single Tenure Would Halt Desperation Of Politicians – Atiku
Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, has decried the rejection of the six-term single tenure proposal by the House of Representatives, insisting that its passage would have halted the desperation of politicians willing to commit any act to secure a second term.
Atiku made his position known in a statement issued by Paul Ibe, his Media Aide, in reaction to the rejection of the bill by the House on Tuesday.
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According to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, the six-term single tenure proposal would help curb activities such as electoral malpractices, particularly by incumbents in the executive arm of government, and would allow the elected public officer concentrate on serving the people rather than fighting for his or her personal needs.
“The desperation for second term by the incumbents is the main reason why they go for broke and set the rule book on fire, thereby making free and fair elections impossible by legitimising rigging at the expense of their challengers that have no access to public funds.
“A situation where the incumbents deploy more public resources to their second term projects than using the funds for people’s welfare encourages massive rigging that undermines electoral integrity.
“Six-year single term would remove such desperation and enable the incumbents to concentrate on the job for which they were elected in the first place,” Atiku said.
The former vice president argued that the current two-term tenure of eight years being practised cannot be said to provide ample time for elected leaders to fulfil their campaign promise.
He insisted that the current tenure system instead rewards an incompetent incumbent to run for and secure a second term because such a person has access to state resources to utilise during the electioneering process.
He said: “I don’t agree with the logic that eight years would give elected leaders better opportunity to fulfill their campaign promises.
“An inherently incompetent incumbent will perform below average even if you give him/her 20 years in office or give him or her $20bn dollars.
“Second term obsession rewards incompetence by allowing failed incumbents to be reelected regardless of their performance record.
“It also denies political parties the opportunity to replace failed incumbents with better candidates within the parties in the name of right of first refusal.”
Atiku said the rejection of the six-year single term was a mistake because little attention was paid to its merits.