Lagos: Leaders of some opposition political parties on Wednesday urged the government to drop the idea of tenure elongation and tackle problems facing the country.
In separate interviews in Lagos, the parties said the time was not ripe for a single term of six-year.
The National Assembly planned a fresh amendment of the 1999 Constitution to include state creation, resource control, revenue sharing formula and a six-year term for elective office holders.
Chief Charles Nwodo, National Chairman, Progressive Action Council (PAC), said Nigerians expected the government to reorder its priority to tackling pressing needs of the people instead of tenure elongation.
“The infrastructural decay and insecurity is there, inflation is there while poverty is there growing tall.
“We had expected government to reorder its priority to tackling the pressing needs of the people, especially job creation instead of generating controversies that will overheat the polity and divert attention,’’ he said.
According to Nwodo, Nigeria’s problem has always been the process of coming to power and the conduct of election which has not been addressed.
“ If there is free, fair and transparent election where the choice of the people is made, people will not be talking about tenure elongation,’’ he said.
Mr Sam Onimisi, National Secretary, Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA), also agreed that the nation’s infrastructural challenges should engage the attention of government.
“I think our government should get busy tackling power, unemployment and security problems rather than wasting time and resources on tenure elongation,’’ he said.
Chief Udemba Chukwudelue, National Chairman, National Solidarity Democratic Party (NSDP), said the proposal would not give room for accountability.
“Seeking a second tenure gives room for accountability because if you perform well in the first tenure people will vote for you.
“But this six years single tenure will not give room for accountability because the moment you get in there nobody can do anything until you leave whether you perform or not,’’ he said.
However, Mr Solomon Akponna, former Presidential Candidate of the National Majority Democratic Party (NMDP) in the April elections, said the tenure should not be more than five years.
“In as much as I support the tenure elongation, I will prefer it to be five years single tenure and not six years as being proposed.
“If a leader knows he or she is going for only a term, he will want to do good for people so as to be appreciated when he is out of power,’’ he said. (NAN)