The Northern Nigerian apex group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) this morning in Kaduna said that it will not accept six year single tenure being proposed by Nigerian Senate.
“This has to do with the fact that the good, the not-so-good and the feckless leaders, are grouped together in the same hall without any distinction,” its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, said in a statement.
Stressing that such a practice is incapable of delivering good governance, he said that explains why most countries practice multiple tenure systems which enable leaders to aspire for excellence in the hope of reward by way of re-election. “This is because election into first term is on the basis of hope while that for second term should be based on performance in the office. Leaders should be elected not only on the basis of hope but also on the basis of performance in the office.”
ACF further said that the system being proposed would be counterproductive, precisely because it cannot further the cause of good governance that goes with purposeful leadership, especially as it lacks the basic elements of motivation and incentives needed in any management of human affairs for performance.
“Those countries which put limit on their multiple systems, like America, do so as deliberate effort to allow ingress of fresh hands into governance and leadership. That is to say, they make allowance for motivation and incentives that inspire strides for excellence and also make allowance for fresh hands in multiple tenure system.
With reference to the fear of abuse of incumbency in Nigeria, the group noted that different countries devise their own ways of curtailing such abuses, and that the answer is not to sacrifice performance through killing motivation, incentives and rewards in the management of human affairs. “While developed nations have made efforts in brain and brawn to enable their citizens makes judicious use of their democratic rights to make their votes count, the developing nations are still struggling, and so try to put some mechanisms that can check abuse of incumbency,” the statement said.
It drew attention to Chile, which, it pointed out, practices a multiple tenure system without consecutive terms, as the constitution forbids a president or governor of a state from conducting an election in which he is a candidate.
“That was why the extremely popular president in the person of Madam Michel could not contest for the president during the last elections in Chile,” ACF said, adding that in the alternative, Nigeria can consider the Bangladesh model where elections are conducted by Care Taker Governments.
“Again, this is because single tenure cannot manage for performance without incentives, motivation and reward. In the single tenure, the only motivation would be the pillage of state resources that go with unbridled access to state or national resources,” the statement said, stressing that single tenure is therefore counter productive.
A proposal for a single seven-year tenure was first made in 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan, but he was reported to have dropped the idea after it came under heavy criticism by the public who feared he wanted an additional seven years starting in 2015.