Thursday, April 13, 2006

Obasanjo loyalists move to fast-track 3rd-term authorization through Nigerian Senate

Read about it at South Africa's Independent Online.

The third-term push by President Obasanjo is a serious destabilizing influence on the country. Northern governors in Nigeria have warned against it; the vice-president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN, of which Akinola is president), Dr Mike Okonkwo, has warned against it; an opposition political party, the Advanced Congress of Democrats, has warned against it; a Nigerian constitutional law professor has denounced it; the Anwar-UI-Islam Movement has denounced it; the Northern Christian Elders Forum has warned against it; the Abia State Government in SE Nigeria and the former governor of Kaduna State in northern Nigeria have written the US and UK governments, as well as the United Nations and Nelson Mandela, requesting intervention; and the US government has warned against it.

Meanwhile the President continues his public relations ploy (The Tide Online, I'm learning, is Obasanjo-friendly) of blaming all strife in the country on religious conflicts. (A letter published in The Daily Independent further links the intensity of February's violence to the third-term campaign. The letter's writer, an Obasanjo supporter, avoids blaming the violence on the third-term agenda.)

BTW, there's a hilarious article (in The Tide Online) defending Obasanjo's bid for a third term by analogy to our President Roosevelt's four terms in office. I don't mean to be condescending, but I hope no one in Nigeria takes this comparison seriously.

Indeed, the 22nd Amendment was passed (in 1951 and in accordance with rules set out in our Constitution and obeyed for over 150 years at the time) after FDR died (1945) to prevent future presidents from serving more than two elected four-year terms. The claim that FDR's third term somehow legitimizes Obasanjo's quest for one is utterly fantastic.

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