The House of Representatives in Nigeria may reopen the bill seeking amendment to the constitution to make the President and governors serve only a term of six years. The bill also proposed that members of the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly will also serve six years per tenure.
The House had on December 17, 2019, voted against the proposal. The bill, sponsored by Mr John Dyegh from Benue State, which was considered for second reading, was stood down by the lawmakers who overwhelmingly opposed the legislation.
It was titled, ‘A bill for an act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for a single term of six years for the President and governors and a six-year term for members of the National Assembly and states Houses of Assembly.’
Speaking with newsmen, Dyegh lamented that several members of the House misunderstood the bill for an attempt to elongate the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently serving a second term of four years, or extend the duration.
He disclosed that wider consultations were already ongoing, details of which he refused to disclose.
The lawmaker explained that the proposal was to ensure better governance by presidents and governors, cut costs of conducting elections and reduce the loss of lives and property during electioneering and polls.
Dyegh said, “A lot of members understood it to be a third tenure for Buhari, some others understood it for an extension of tenure for Buhari or an additional two years to the four. If you were in the chamber that day, you would have even heard some members making comments towards that direction. Did you know that it was the kind of campaign going on behind me? It is quite unfortunate.
“The bill is not dead. Yes, it did not scale through the second reading but it is not dead. The good part is that it can be resurrected. I am still consulting. I still believe very strongly that it is the way forward for this country, we can only pretend about it.’’