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Election: Reps want two-term limit for President, govs sacrosanct

•    Move to restrict acting president, govs
THE House of Representatives on Wednesday passed for second reading, a bill that sought to restrict any person that acted as president or governor for more than two consecutive years to be eligible for election for more than a single term.

The bill sought the alteration of section 137 of principal Act to insert new subsection (3) which states that, “a person who acted as President of Federal Republic of Nigeria consecutively for more than two years, shall not be eligible to contest for the same office for more than a single term.”

The Sponsor of the bill, the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Lasun Yussuff, in his argument explained that “no person who had held office of president or governor of a state or acting as 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 President or governor of a state more than once.”

He said that, the aim of the Bill was to give constitutional protection to the two term tradition.

By virtue of the combine 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.

According to him, when a person is chosen to act as president or governor of a state and the person serve for more than two years in a four years term, that person shall only be eligible for contest election to the same office only once.

This amendment, he said, is inspired by the 22nd amendment to the constitution of the United States of America, which provides: “No person shall be elected to the office of the president more than twice and no person who has held office of president or acted as president for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected president shall be elected to the office of President more than once.”

Part of the bill also sought among other things to compel president and governors to attach intended portfolio of office of all ministerial nominees and commissioner nominees before submission to the legislature for screening.

Another section that the Deputy Speaker also sought alteration has to do with nomination of running mates where a presidential and gubernatorial candidate of all political parties are to nominate running mate from another region other than their own.

The bill was passed and subsequently referred to House Special Ad hoc committee on constitution review for further legislative action.