Former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan says that the constitutional four years tenure given to Presidents is not enough to make any meaningful impact on the country.
According to him, conducting elections every four years was too burdensome for countries, especially developing countries, stressing that it could be too distracting for the president in power.
Jonathan stated this while speaking at the constitutional term limits summit in Niamey, Niger Republic, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019,
The former president equally frowned at those who stay up to fourteen years, saying there is no need for any president to remain in power for 14 years, since the country is not his private estate.
“When Professor Wade (Senegal) was in his last tenure, he changed the constitution and extended the term limits from five to seven years.
‘’He thought he would win the election. But Macky Sall reduced it to five years. We must commend dynamic leaders like that.
“There is no need for one person to sit for 14 years, doing what? The country is not your personal estate. Countries are free to amend their laws.
“Just like the president of Niger Republic said, different nations have different ways of doing things, so it is better they have their own way of doing things. I agree to that.
“Most countries in Africa emulate America that is a stable country, and take four years as tenure. Such countries include Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
Making reference to Nigeria, Jonathan said people are already discussing 2023 elections, barely months after the 2019 elections. According to him, this can distract any president with a four-year tenure in office, especially in the developing world.
“Four years is quite a short period for a country that is developing for a person who wants to change the country to do much,” he said.
‘’In Nigeria, we just finished the election and some people are already talking about 2023 election. It is distracting.
“That is why some people come with the idea of a single tenure; so a president can sit down and plan all his programmes for the good of the country.
‘’We are too distracted with these elections. Why must we waste money every four years to elect a leader? Those are the things that agitate our minds.”