Proposed 7-year Single Tenure misunderstood -President Jonathan
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has said his proposed seven-year single tenure for Nigeria's President has been misunderstood by those who think he wants to add that term to his current one.
President Jonathan was speaking to Mr. Alain Juppe, French Foreign Minister, who visited the State House, Saturday, as part of the activities of his visit to Nigeria.
“My proposal for a single seven-year tenure is anchored on the need for an incumbent President to focus maximum attention on the execution of his development programmes, instead of expending vital energy on re-election issues, though this has been misunderstood to mean I want additional seven years”, he clarified.
President Jonathan noted that democratic political stability has returned to Africa, although in some African countries, the major challenge still remains the attempt by the incumbents to stay in power beyond constitutional mandates, or to insist on anointing their successors. While deploring this, President Jonathan pointed out that much progress is being made across the continent, and that Africa's success stories should be encouraged.
He expressed appreciation to French President Nicolas Sarkozy for his consistent support and friendship to Nigeria and Africa, adding that President Sarkozy's “robust support and friendship” had enabled Nigeria and ECOWAS to successfully restore peace in Cote d'Ivoire.
“We could not have succeeded in restoring peace in Cote d'Ivoire without President Sarkozy's support”, he stated, adding that the intervention in Cote D'Ivoire has also enabled stability and successful elections to be held in Liberia.
President Jonathan told Mr. Juppe that his administration is working hard to check terrorism and piracy, as part of efforts to provide a sustainable environment for trade and investments in the country, and appealed for French support to check this menace.
Earlier, Mr. Alain Juppe, the French Foreign Minister, said he held “very constructive” discussions with his Nigerian counterpart, in the areas of agriculture, energy, aviation and mining.
He said France is committed to supporting and ensuring development in Africa, though there are concerns about political and economic stability as well as piracy and terrorist activities in some parts of the continent.