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(From Vanguard (Nigeria) - AAGM)
Byline: Paul Odili
As the National Assembly reopens debate on the review of 1999 Constitution, Vanguard politics reviews the end game of last week, in particular the manoeuver by some governors to have a third term clause inserted for them too.
Governors last week finally showed their hands, when it was reported they met with President Olusegun Obasanjo and made three demands, principal of which was that they too would like to enjoy a third term in office. Those who expected to learn that the President, noted for his fiery temper exploded at this effrontery, were disappointed because reports indicate the President was sympathetic to their demands. Clearly facing
political reality, it could not have been otherwise for the President, believed to want to remain office acting the other way. The role of the governors in influencing the National Assembly legislators has never been in doubt, especially as they were mostly responsible for getting some of them into office during the 2003 general elections. The state assemblies, where a 2/3 majority by law has to endorse any proposal are totally in the pocket of their governors, and hence at two levels they have an ace no one can afford to ignore. Now, with a enough IOU's to call upon, those engineering the insertion of extension of office know that governors are a critical factor, whose concerns have to be addressed if they are to step up and influence the federal legislators to tow the line and endorse the amendment of the third term clause.
Nevertheless, the first surprise in many people's view is that the National Assembly Joint Committee on the Review of 1999 Constitution …