Friday, July 29, 2011

Single term not my idea, says Jonathan


President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday technically distanced himself from the controversial single tenure agenda when he said the proposal "is not my idea."

Jonathan, who spoke at the 56th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Abuja said the information got leaked to the press in the process of consultation.
According to him, the single term idea emanated from the recommendations of the inter-party committee, excluding the Action Congress of Nigeria, made to the Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwias Electoral Reforms panel.

He said he was the chairman of the committee that was constituted by late President Umaru Yar'Adua.

Besides, he said he has not consulted with the party leadership nor the leadership of the National Assembly on the issue.

He said however, that the idea was good as it would help to reduce acrimony and election cost.

"It (single tenure) has nothing to do with the four year presidency that Nigerians have given to us.  We just wanted to clarify it and I think we need to mention that it was not my idea; it was the idea of the committee that I chaired which we believe those of us, the majority members of the committee believe, is the best option," Jonathan said. 

He added that the idea was not meant to elongate his tenure as the opposition groups are insinuating.

Jonathan said: " There is a brief comment I want to make on this so called single tenure.  I wouldn’t have love to, but probably, it is becoming so topical in the papers.  Most of the papers carried it today and when things happen, they do take it to a different direction. 

"Since we are meeting here as the NEC of the party, it is probably proper to clarify some of these issues so that it will not be misunderstood.  The rumour came in, it is me that asked some few people, whether a single tenure will be a better option than a double tenure. 

"Before I take any decision, I used to ask people.  But, that is not the end of consultation.  It is a major chain.  So, before I can even send such a bill to the National Assembly, I will consult with the governors because, any constitutional amendment involves the states and if they are not on the same page with you, there is no way such an amendment can easily sail through," the president added.
The Nation 

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