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Single six-year presidential term is good for Nigeria

But there is much hidden wisdom in Jonathan’s own statement. Imagine if we did things a bit differently.Imagine if President Jonathan, sworn in 2009 had…

But there is much hidden wisdom in Jonathan’s own statement. Imagine if we did things a bit differently.
Imagine if President Jonathan, sworn in 2009 had been allotted just one six- year term coming to a close at the end of 2014. The timing sure seems right – both for him and for our nation. There is no doubt that President Jonathan is frustrated, Nigeria is hopelessly gridlocked, and the media are already obsessed with the 2015 presidential marathon while  ‘Hope and Change’ posters are objects of photo shop satire. Additionally, between the pronounced lines of “I’ll only run for single term” lies a hammer that could allow a future president to break through the walls of partisanship that are paralyzing and polarizing our nation. And that message is: “Since I do not have to run for re-election, I can speak, govern, and act in the best interests of our nation without political retribution.” Consider if future presidents, once elected, never again had to appear on the ballot. Such a concept would revolutionize and modernize the office because on Inauguration Day, the president would be a “lame duck.” (Maybe a new more complimentary phrase should be invented.) Obviously, such a radical change would require an amendment to the Constitution, but the national political benefits would be wide, deep and timely.
The absence of a looming re-election campaign which invariably consumes two years of the president’s valuable time and distracts the nation could inspire future presidents to be stronger leaders and more willing to make tough, unpopular decisions that could improve our national well-being in the long term. Therefore, “six and done” would be a good move for our nation especially if we elect a leader who cared more about solving the nation’s long-term problems.

Ahmed Abdulrahman, Kaduna <[email protected]>;

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