Like the proverbial cat with nine lives, this menace called “Third Term” has refused to die. It only simmers a little, and re-surfaces again, rearing its ugly head in the political terrain of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This time, it is the state governors who are politicking. The BBC News website today reported on this with a headline titled: “Boost for third term in Nigeria“. In the opening paragraph of BBC’s report is the line:
“A majority of Nigeria’s 36 state governors have given their backing to moves to change the constitution.
The most controversial part of the proposed changes is the scrapping of the two-term limit for elected officials, notably the president.
The issue has divided the ruling People’s Democratic Party and Nigerian public opinion, with President Olusegun Obasanjo’s second term ending in 2007.
Several governors did not attend the meeting and two walked out early.
Nigeria’s powerful governors are also limited to two terms in office and so could benefit if the constitution were changed.”
I agree with Imnakoya of Grandiose Parlor when he said: “…come 2007, Mr. Obasanjo should hand over power”.
Professor Wole Soyinka said it all when he said…
Alluding to Obasanjo’s alleged politics of third term, Soyinka gave the advice he once offered to the former president of Kenya Daniel Arap Moi.
“Leave quietly, peacefully take your quite considerable successes in governance policies with you. Make it possible for us to call you in retirement as an elder statesman. Do not leave the nation with such lacerating memories, with such a bad taste in the mouth that the people dismiss even your success as mere accidents, as flashes in the pan or the work of others.” The social critic advised Obasanjo further: “Leave now, pleading governance exhaustion, age betrayal, resentment at the ingratitude, anything at all but leave. Leave today, right now!” he stated.
What precident are we laying down for the next generation? What if Nigeria later has a tyrant for head of state who decides to usurp power by automatically extending his mandate with a third-term bid, what do we then do? I’m sure he’d win a third term going by the mere fact that its rare for a sitting head of state to loose a re-election bid.
Mr Obasanjo, you have done enough for Nigeria, and its time for you to leave the stage for someone else. Do so, honourably.