Nigeria: Constitutional Review – Citizens Reject Rotational, Single Term Presidency

Nigerians yesterday rejected single term presidency, which is being canvassed by President Goodluck Jonathan, during the House of Representatives Public Hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution at the 360 Federal Constituencies in the country.

Also, in most states, the call for the creation of additional states and the recognition of the six geopolitical zones in the constitution were rejected. So, also, the people rejected the idea of rotating the presidency between North and South, as most of them voted for leadership by merit.

At the various venues of the public hearing, delegates were asked to tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ against each of the 43 aspects of the 1999 Constitution which is being amended by the National Assembly.

In Tambuwal, the Federal Constituency of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the move to have additional states was unanimously opposed.

During the People’s Public Session comprising of 350 delegates representing seven districts in the Tambuwal/Kebbe Federal constituency being represented by the Speaker the people voted against it.

The session took place at Girls Commercial Secondary School, Tambuwal’s assembly hall.

Delegates overwhelmingly voted against Items 1, 2, and 3, which sought for the creation of additional states in Nigeria. Item 3 states thus: “should a state be created in order to bring parity to the number of states among the geo-political zones?” While Item 2, which sought to know how many states should be created in Nigeria was not supported by the delegates.

In the same vein, Items 4 and 5, which sought to include the six geo-political zones structure in the constitution and make them another tier of government was rejected unanimously.

The proposal for granting of financial autonomy to the 36 state Houses of Assembly was also adopted, together with the one seeking to abolish the “state joint local government account,” so that allocations due to the local governments may be paid to them directly. The delegates further voted in favour of Item 13, which would deny revenue allocation to unelected local government councils.