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Church leaders divide over term limits for president of Nigeria: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 12, 2011 p 6. August 15, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria.
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Archbishop Joseph Adetiloye

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Church leaders in Nigeria have objected to plans to create term limits for the country’s president and state governors, saying allowing only a single six-year term would make the government less responsive to the needs and opinions of the electorate.

In an interview with the Leadership newspaper, the former Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye urged President Goodluck Jonathan to drop plans to amend the country’s constitution.

Last month President Jonathan asked MPs to amend the constitution so that future presidents and governors serve a single, six-year term. Aides to the president said the proposal would allow the government to focus on governing the country, and would avoid the violence that surrounds the country’s presidential campaigns.

A statement from the President’s Office published by AFP said: “If the proposed amendment is accepted by the National Assembly, the president assures that he will not in any way be a beneficiary.

Archbishop Adetiloye stated there should be an incentive for political leaders to honour the party political platforms they adopted before elections. Politicians should “fear” the electorate, and have an incentive to govern according to the pledges they made when they ran for office, he said.

Being accountable to the electorate will force political parties to “pile pressure of such elected official to deliver.”

“We thank God now that we are having fairly credible election, so with a renewable tenure, all the political parties we realise that the only way they can dominate a state or the country is by performing well for them to win future elections,” Archbishop Adetiloye said last week.

However, the former Bishop of Akure, the Rt Rev Emmanuel Gbonigi told the Vanguard newspaper that he backed term limits as it would allow politicians to focus on governing rather than campaigning. When a governor is elected, he spends the first six months in office to “settle down,” governs for “another two and half years” and then begins to “strategise for a second term” during his last year in office.

“But if it is six-year single term, he would use one year to settle down and appoint political officers and the next five years to work knowing that there is no second term,” Bishop Gbonigi said.


1. mcadey - August 20, 2011

What the country needs to do is to increase each term to five years,instead of four.But a two term limit should be imposed.

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