Prolonged Tenure: The Problem of Democracy

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan
All of these continue to play its part in keeping Africa perpetually behind in the scheme of things, and a people desperately trying to meet up. But I remain convinced that of all these factors, the one condition capable of delivering the most gain in the shortest time, in terms of our developmental paradigm, remains leadership. We need honest leaders.
 The problem with Africa and the rest of the world lie in its long developmental backwardness. Take a superficial look at all the catalogs used to measure development and you will find that you will encounter losses as you apply such limitations in Africa. The reason for these problems include corruption, very weak institutions, and leadership woes
The very moment a leader begins to have selfish aims, a part of democracy sinks and with it, as far as the experience in Africa has shown, the development push suffers a setback. Visionary leaders, but certainly not ‘messianic’ leaders intent on self-succession.
To further plug Africa’s developmental deficits and lack of efficient leaders, the continent now agitates for tenure elongation.  
Despite our flawed idea of democracy is in Africa, there is a relieving assurance that comes from the tiny flicker of hope of democratic rejuvenation at the expiration of a tenure limit.
While a counter-argument may well be advanced that countries like South Korea rode into developmental reckoning through a system of authoritarian democratic free market principles, Africa’s experience with a majority of her scheming ‘democratic’ dictators exposes such sentiments for what they are mere dreams.  
Some years back, former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo embarked in a disastrous mission for a third term which would have extended his presidential tenure from 8 years to 12 years or more.  
After 8 years in office, he started seeing himself as indispensable to Nigerian progress and peaceful co-existence. 
President Goodluck Jonathan also set out to embark on another ill-conceived and ill-timed adventure. This time he wants to change the constitution and increase president and governor’s tenure from 4-year to 6-year single term.
Ebele Goodluck was Vice president for 3 years under President Yaradua’s tenure, he was elected as President for the next 4 years. He was also re-elected, which makes it a total of 11 years.

This process is the major reason for the feeling of entitlement leaders have over the office they occur, seeing that they have occupied the seats for so long. Furthermore, prolonged tenures might surprisingly be the background of Godfatherism.


  1. I really really love this bill Buhari signed. This is great news.

  2. Another potential constitutional crisis put to bed. Thank you Buhari for this...