The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yussuff, is proposing a law that will restrict individuals who act as either President or governor for more than two years to spend only one term in office afterwards.
The proposal is part of the lawmaker’s contribution to the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution.
The Deputy Speaker who is also the chairman, Special Ad hoc Committee on the review of the 1999 constitution made his proposal public in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Wole Oladimeji, in Abuja, on Thursday.
Oladimeji said, “Yussuff is sponsoring a bill which provides that ‘no person who had held office of the President or governor of a state or acted as the President or governor of a state for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected president or governor, shall be elected to the office of the President or governor of a state more than once.”
He explained that the aim of the bill which had scaled the first reading in the House of Representatives was to further strengthen the constitutional provision of a maximum of two terms of four years each for elected members of the executive.
According to him, by virtue of the combined provisions of sections 137(1) (b) and 182(1) (b) of the constitution, the President of Nigeria and governor of a state shall serve in those capacities for a maximum period of eight years.
Oladimeji also explained that the constitution equally envisaged circumstances where a person could be chosen to act as president or governor.
Reacting to Lasun’s suggestion, a Kano State delegate to the 2014 National Conference, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, described the proposal as a welcome development.
He said, “It makes a lot of sense because some individuals will always want to take advantage of any lacuna to plunge the nation into a constitutional crisis.”
The Executive Director of the Civil Societies Legislative and Advocacy Centre, Awual Musa-Rafsanjani, also welcomed the idea.
Punch quoted him as saying: “While it is not possible to put everything in the constitution, I think it will not be a bad idea. If I recall, some people even went to court to try to stop former President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting in 2015 on this ground.”