The recent decision by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to propose a single six year term for the president and governorships is attracting divergent views.
The president wants the national assembly to amend the constitution so the proposal will become effective by May 28, 2015.
Opposition party members allege it is a ploy to divert attention from other serious political and economic matters. Others want a robust public debate so law makers can make an informed decision.
Senator Magnus Abe represents Rivers south-east senatorial district in the upper chamber of the Nigerian national assembly.
‘’My reaction is that the President as a citizen of this country, as a political leader in this countrym, has a right to make whatever proposal he thinks is right to move [us] forward,’’ he said.
Abe disagrees with some who say the proposal is ill-timed.
‘’ I think critical challenges facing the Nigerian nation,” he said, “should be discussed at any time. If the President really believes that this will help get Nigeria on a right footing , he can put it forward at any time.”
The Senator said the most important thing is for Nigerians to fully debate the proposal which he says has its own advantages and drawbacks.
‘’There is no perfect system,” he said. “It is better for us to look at any options that will move this nation forward.’’
Abe argues the present structure of Nigerian political system is lacking and has not helped the country realize its potential.
‘’We need to restructure the country and in doing that several things needs to be looked at to make Nigerians get the life they want,” said Abe.
He said the final objective should be to produce a system that produces benefits for its citizens, like providing the quality of life they deserve.