Tuesday, May 09, 2006

When the issue of tenure elongation first reared its ugly head, not a few die-hard optimists were of the view that Baba would not succumb to any of that rubbish. Some said it was simply a strategy designed to keep those hoping he would be a lame duck president on their toes. Still more said that the mere fact that Baba could come out openly and say he was under pressure was his way of asking Nigerians to get those monkeys off his back.

During the NPRC, there was a mighty uproar over the smuggling in of a "draft" constitution containing a single five-year term for Governors and the President. The man responsible for this particular shenanigan was none other than that venerable AGIP (Any-Government-In-Power) Chairman, Professor Jerry Gana. Now here's a creature with longevity. He has served in every government since before I was born. And whether his oga wore khaki or agbada, he has given each one his all. It's a wonder the man still has anything left in his tank. The members of the NPRC refused to consider the document and threw it out.

If anyone thought that was the end of the matter, they were grossly mistaken. Not long afterwards, with the NPRC report gathering dust somewhere in Aso Rock (as documents of this nature are bound to do), the National Assembly embarked on a Constitution Review exercise. Normal, right? Wrong. First of all, the "public" hearings were scheduled for only six out of 36 states, in the name of "geo-political zones". Then the hearings were moved to cities which were most definitely not major e.g. Osogbo for the South-West Zone instead of Lagos.

After the orchestrated hearings, which disobeyed a court order stopping them by the way, Senator Mantu declared that in the light of the "great clamor" by Nigerians, the committee would be including a recommendation for the President to serve 3 terms of four years.

To be continued...

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I love my country, enjoy a cold beer once in a while, rabidly support Arsenal FC, but I don't get Diet Coke...