Why Proposed Single-tenure for President, Governors Is Dangerous to Democracy

Why Proposed Single-tenure for President, Governors Is Dangerous to Democracy

A lecturer of the Department of Political Science and International Relations in the University of Abuja, Kabir Mato, on Monday criticised the proposed six-year single-tenure for president and governors.

Mr. Mato said in Abuja that single-tenure was dangerous to democracy and would take the country back to where many countries had passed several decades.

“The proposed six years single-tenure for the office of the president by the Senate in the on-going constitution review in my view is dangerous to our evolving democracy.

“It will take the country back to many stages that several countries across the world have passed through for many decades.

“We are recommending that on the fear that things are not going well in the country and we are assuming that things will not work right.

“I don’t subscribe to that idea, it is better to retain the four-year renewable mandate,” Mr. Mato said.

He noted that the present renewable four-year tenure had the potential of making those who were elected in the first tenure to work harder for re-election.

According to Mr. Mato, when the system provides for six years or eight years single-tenure, it may create room for abuse of office or poor performance.

He said emphasis should be on building strong institutions that could develop the country’s democracy instead of individuals or advancing the interest of any vested group.

Mr. Mato noted that credible electoral process was very vital to the survival and development of democratic institutions such as the judiciary, legislature and the executive.

The don said, “When we get our electoral system right all this issue of fears that some set of people or group will dominate political position will give way.”

He decried weak political culture among politicians in the country, noting that building democratic institutions required independence of the police, judiciary and legislature to ensure justice and fair play.

Mr. Mato called on the Federal Government to build a credible electoral body that would ensure that sanctity of the people’s vote was protected at all levels of election. He said that people holding public offices should be those who were genuinely elected by the people and not selected by any group.

“Once we get our elections right those who represent us will work and perform to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the people,” he said.

He added that the foundation for building strong democratic institutions could only be guaranteed by a credible and transparent electoral process.

(NAN) 

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