Former President Goodluck Jonathan has hit out at African leaders who want to cling onto power by all means, Concise News reports.
Jonathan said this on Wednesday during the Constitutional Term Limits Summit in Niamey, the Nigerien capital.
According to him, there are other elements of the democratic system aside from periodic elections.
He wondered why some African leaders would stat for 14 years in office, adding that democracy was participatory and should go beyond the legislature.
“Periodic elections alone is not democracy. Democracy is about people,” he said.
“The people must be carried along. Democracy must be participatory. Participation must be extended beyond the parliament.
“Why would anyone want to serve as President for up to 14 years? It is not personal property. Democracy is about the participation of the people in governance.”
The former Bayelsa State Governor spent six years in power and lost out to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 election.
On his part, the Regional Director of National Democratic Institute (NDI) Chris Fomunyoh noted that “The Constitutional Term Limits Summit comes at a critical time when Africa’s democratic progress is facing new challenges and democratic backsliding is becoming more prominent.
“The Summit will provide an opportunity for leaders and activists on the continent to ensure that progress made through the renewal of political leadership through the ballot box is sustained and encouraged.”
Buhari Not Seeking Another Term
The Presidency has denied reports that it wants to amend the country’s constitution to allow President Muhammadu Buhari go for a third term.
This assurance came in a statement from Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu.
According to him, even though there were attempts in the past to change the constitution to allow the then-incumbent president to stand for a third term, such attempt was unconstitutional.
Shehu further assured that such a thing will not take place under the government of President Buhari.
“The Presidency wishes to correct internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term,” the statement said.
“There are no circumstances – nor set of circumstances – under which President Buhari may seek to amend the Constitution regarding the two-term term limit on holding office as President.
“President Buhari intends to serve his full second elected term in office, ending 2023 – and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate.
“There is not even the faintest possibility that this will change.”
The statement said, “It is important to note that there was a past attempt to change the Constitution to allow for the then-incumbent president to stand for a third term.
“That attempt was wrong, unconstitutional – and rightly rebuffed. No such attempt will happen under this President.
“President Buhari is a democrat. He respects the Constitution. Any activity aimed at altering the two-term limit will not succeed and shall never have his time nor support.”