SECOND TERM FOR A FAILING PRESIDENT?
By Abdallah Sha’aibu Mailafia
This is not about the health of the President which some people have described as ailing. Also, I am not a physician and hence not in a position to speculate on the life of Mr. President. For all I know, it is the Omnipotent Father who gives and takes life.
In the last dispensation, a story was told of how some aggrieved Edo State indigenes went to meet the father of the then governor of the state to register their anger on the reckless manner by which Lucky Igbenedion had administered the affairs of the state. The father of the then governor, who is also the Esama of Benin Kingdom, was said to have requested that his son be allowed to get a second term in order to improve on his performance. He was said to have sarcastically opined that when a pupil fails in a particular class the most logical thing to do is to allow him repeat the class.
Thereafter, Lucky was imposed on the hapless people of Edo for a second term. His performance in the second term was no different from the previous term. His father would have wished a third term for him if the constitution had not constrained him. The colossal damage the second term of Lucky Igbenedion heaped on the people of Edo would have been averted if Lucky was shown the way out of the government house when it became obvious that he was a failing governor.
The scenario of the Lucky Igbenedion saga is about to repeat itself, this time at the national level. It requires no proof that President Yar’Adua has failed as a president. Though the president’s father is not alive today to request for a second term for his son, those who are benefiting from the government have assumed that responsibility. And this effort is manifesting itself in various forms.
First, it was from the Governors Forum who advocated for automatic second term for all first term governors and invariably the president. The forum seems to have jettisoned that idea because the honourable members are equally saying what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Second, the Aondoaka-led panel is battling tooth and nail to doctor the report of Electoral Reform Committee and invariably extend the president’s current tenure by two years on the lame excuse that by that the president would have finished the good job he started at INEC i.e. unbundling of INEC.
I personally do not think that the president deserves a second term for obvious reasons. This is the same president who, on assumption of office, meekly accepted that the process that produced him was fraught with irregularities and that one of the legacies he would leave behind at the end of his tenure was to reform the electoral process. It was this seemingly true confession that gave acceptance to an illegitimate government that this regime was. And even though there were objections at the constitution of the members of the reform committee, most people that objected initially seem to have softened down when the recommendations of the Committee were evaluated on its individual merit.
Unfortunately, greed is about to erode the very foundation upon which the life of this administration is built. When most people contest elections, they are quick to ask that the four-year tenure is just enough for them to turn things around. They forget how days fly so quickly. Two solid years have elapsed from the four years we were talking about in 2007 and by the first second quarter of next year activities will be in top gear for the next general election. It is this stark realities that make it dawn on mandate usurpers that they have to seek for another illegal means of retaining their seats.
Why set up the Uwais panel if it was going to be subjected to another round of rigmarole? Why waste tax payers’ money on such an expensive venture only to throw the report into the Lagoon? To me, anything short of Uwais recommendations is as good rejecting all the report in its entirety. The President only played on our sensibilities by feinting innocence ab initio but only to turn around and craftily exploited means of reaping where he did not sow. This is unacceptable and it portrays acts of deception.
Abdallah Sha’aibu Mailafia
( email@example.com )
No 8A, Tudun Wada Street
Lafia Nasarawa State