Six-year single tenure & Njiko Ndigbo
By Odimegwu Onwumere
Self-importance is dangerous in every facets of human endeavour. This has crept into the political ship of President Goodluck Jonathan. The government is a professional on how to subsidise everything that were there before its emergence for its narcissism.
It is no longer news that it wants to subsidise how many years a president and governors have to spend a term in office. In July 2011, barely two weeks he came to power as an elected president, the immediate song or rumour everywhere was a 6-year single term. But Jonathan does not realize the political shift this is going to cause Ndigbo he promised heaven on earth and made a public confession that he was going to be a one term president which is supposed to elapse in 2015. Again, self-importance is the only phenomenon that can gear a leader to propose a change in the Constitution. This was fad during the fight for the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the event of the 2011 electioneering campaign.
The presidency denies that the 6-year single tenure isn’t its initiative, yet it has not out-rightly condemned it. What a way of betraying trust and wants to make Ndigbo to flounder. Ndigbo are not known to be weak people and no one can make them one. The continuous attempt to deny them of their right politically only succeeds in bringing out the weakness in the leaders of this country.
Remember that at a National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the PDP, in 2011, Jonathan was purportedly at soreness to elucidate to the party leaders that he was not after the proposal for 6-year single-term tenure of office. Njiko Ndigbo has been raging that it is the turn of Ndigbo to become president come 2015. But whenever the presidency was caught at crossroads of making such a degrading attempt to deprive Ndigbo of their aspiration and prospect to become president in 2015, Jonathan’s aides quickly go to the media in making sure that they douse the tension that the presidency often causes with the elections of 2015.
It is obvious that people like Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, the impermanent coordinator of Njiko Igbo is not consulted whenever the presidency says it is going on consultation about the hydra-headed 6-year single tenure. This is not sacrosanct. This president’s agenda of self-importance endangers democracy. It is not even acceptable in monarchical system of government, not even in fiefdom.
Without mincing words, this hide and seek agenda of the presidency and the national assembly has only made Jonathan to be losing the goodwill that he had attained and which was what compelled people to elect him into office. Not making full disclosures to Nigerians on a matter like this 6-year single tenure proposal as at when due, berates Jonathan that his leadership is yet to attain the norms and ethos expected of in a democracy. Any consultation on this subject by the presidency without the inclusion of Ndigbo is transient. Even 12-year single tenure will not be enough to any stranded leader.
It is obvious that Igbo presidency in 2015 is the only remedy to the debilitating plights besetting the country, as Kalu had always insisted. So, no hawks in President Jonathan’s administration that is pushing him for this agenda will sideline Ndigbo, because any inconceivable agenda had only created a dangerous ground on arrival. Such agenda as the 6-year single tenure for Jonathan and his surrogates is only correct in content, just as it is not correct in context.
Ndigbo are not loafers for anyone to be seeing them as such. Today, some persons, especially those from the South-South political region, are calling for wars, should their brother Jonathan not given a second term. But what they forgot or remembered but were beclouded by the lucre accruing from power to them is that should Ndigbo drum for wars with such velocity, this country will never remain the same again. Kalu has always said that 2015 is non-negotiable for Igbo presidency. Ndigbo cannot be neglected thus far, the same way the presidency will not neglect an Islamic radicals as Boko Haram members.
The 6-year single term will be a dilemma to the proposal of Ndigbo to take power by 2015. This is stealing Ndigbo blind. It is like making Ndigbo a people without any immunity. What was expected of Jonathan is to amend the cost of running government in Nigeria, and not to elongate his floating tenure. Since Nigerian elites have preferred to give power back to tribes, and not back to the people, there is no gainsaying the fact that any attempt to shortchange Ndigbo in the scheme of things about the presidency is a swindle. Jonathan was expected to be talking about accountability, transparency and workability of Nigeria, and not tenure elongation, which in ernest, would not produce the expected result democrats long for, than what we had already seen.
Did Jonathan not say as soon as ex-President Yar’Adua passed out that he will not contest but organise election? Did he not mention state creation? Would Jonathan not always tell Nigerians that the issue of constitutional amendments was there before his tenure? But what is he doing today with 6-year single tenure pitch? Njiko Igbo may not accept any forms of Unity Government since it is saying that it is the turn of Ndigbo to produce the president of this country in 2015.
Let Jonathan sacrifice his presidential ambition in 2015 for Ndigbo to produce president. 4-year single term enables the zones to benefit from the power shift. If the senate agrees to conclude on the 6-year single tenure, it has reeled big blow on people like Orji Uzor Kalu who lost their businesses in making sure that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo did not elongate his tenure of office – 1999-2007. Jonathan should really mean well for Nigeria, which Ndigbo have always supported him. Let him not always be submerging the numerous promises that he has made to the citizenry. Going against his promise because he holds the power and calls the shots is nothing but dictatorial. He should be working on mending his body language and utterances so far which are yet to settle well on the Nigeria’s soil and not be raising more with the 6-year single tenure.