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2015 Presidential Elections:North wants power shift

The Northern governors have effectively launched the campaign to have the Presidency back in the North in 2015 with their weekend rejection of the proposed seven-year single tenure.Eighteen of the 19 Northern Governors at their last meeting in Abuja confirmed, with their decision, they are not on the same page with their Southern counterparts on the proposed single term.

Sources close to the meeting told The Nation on Sunday that the action of the Northern governors underscores the general feeling in the North that power has to return to that part of the country in the next election.It is also a clear message to those it may concern that the Governors are not prepared to sacrifice their political future by supporting President Goodluck Jonathan in any way at the expiration of his current term in May 2015.

One source said: “The decision is an integral part of the 2015 agenda of the North to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from running for second or third term.
“Since most of them betrayed the North in 2011, they think it will be politically suicidal for them to take such a risk again. Of the 19 governors, 11 will complete their second term in 2015. Those returning to the society are out to correct the alleged mistake of last year.

“The anger in the North against these governors could compound the insecurity in the region if they commit another blunder.“I think some of them also have either presidential ambition or are secretly involved in the ongoing political realignment in the country which is being fostered by both the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC[/b]).”

Governors who are not returning to office in 2015 are those of Benue, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Niger, Kebbi and Adamawa.Governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Babangida (Niger), and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi) are believed to be nursing presidential ambition.Another source said the governors are being careful because the body language of the President seems to suggest that he might go for a second term or use the constitution review to extend his tenure beyond 2015.

He added: “The North does not want to take anything for granted in 2015 to by voting straight to stop Jonathan from going for either second or third term or tenure elongation.“The governors also believe that if they allow the proposal to sail through, the President can take advantage of it to have retroactive effect on his tenure in the face of opposition to a fresh term in office.

“Some friends and loyalists of the President are already discussing covertly with different groups in the six geopolitical zones on 2015.”Investigation confirmed a division in the Governors Forum in the last few months on the single tenure proposal.A third source added: “When the issue was raised some months ago at the NGF session, there was a split with 19 governors in favour and 17 against. Since then, the Chairman of the Forum, Governor Rotimi Amaechi has not put it in the agenda.

“Most governors running their first term in office are opposed to the proposal. No matter the position of the presidency, their State Houses of Assembly will reject it. “Even among the initial 19 governors in favour of the single tenure, some of them are having a rethink.“I think the seven-year single presidency will be a hard-sell because of the suspected secret agenda behind it.”

Section 9(1), (2), and (3) of the 1999 Constitution is explicit on the procedure for its amendment.It says:”The National Assembly may, subject to the provisions of this section, alter any of the provisions of this Constitution.

“An Act of the National Assembly for the alteration of this Constitution, not being an Act to which Section 8 of this Constitution ,applies, shall not be passed in either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of that House and approved by resolution of the Houses of Assembly of not less than two-thirds of all the states.

“An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of altering the provisions of this section, Section 8 or Chapter IV of this Constitution shall not be passed by either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is approved by the votes of not less than four-fifths majority of all the members of each House and also approved by the resolution of the Houses of Assembly of not less than two-thirds of all the states.”

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