President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria yesterday said he has no regrets over his proposal for a single tenure for the President and Governors. He reiterated that he was in support of a single term of seven years and expressed his displeasure at critics for politicizing the issue even though it had not yet been presented to the National Assembly.
He emphasized that a single term of seven years will help reduce the cost associated with elections and reduce the unrest associated with elections. According to him, “the issue is that in Africa elections create social unrest and we need to manage this. Look at election that was conducted in this country that both local and foreign observers agreed that the elections were credible and still there was crisis in some of the states.”
He continued: “I have no regrets. Transformation is costly, transformation is painful. The issue of single tenure is to stabilize the polity. A country cannot be stabilised economically without first and foremost stabilizing the polity. We must stabilize the political environment before you can talk about the economy. We and Brazil and Malaysia, we were almost at par at independence.
It is very easy to say all your problem is caused by corruption, corruption is there, and we must all fight corruption. From 1960 to date, Nigeria has not been under steady political environment. Some people are not too sure of what will happen the next day of because the long history of military rule has affected the polity. We had succeeded in installing Obasanjo as the president once; Yar’Adua had been president and now I before another election. We can say that this democracy has come to stay.”
President Jonathan made this comment during his first media chat which occurred yesterday. The media chat was anchored by Stella Din, Tukur Abdulrhaman, Kunle Bakare , Wole Laoye among others.
President Jonathan also dismissed the credibility of Wikileaks cables from Nigeria describing them as “beer parlor talk.”