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Ekweremadu Proposes Single Term of Five Years for Presidents

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  • Ekweremadu Proposes Single Term of Five Years for Presidents

The Deputy Senate President, Dr Ike Ekweremadu, has advocated a single-term presidency of five or six years for Nigeria and other African countries to deepen democracy and good governance.

Ekweremadu spoke while delivering a lecture entitled: ‘Constitutionalism and the Challenges of Leadership in Africa: an Evaluation of Tested Models’ on Tuesday.

The event was organised by the Centre for Media and Peace Initiatives, a New York-based international NGO to mark its 10th anniversary.

He said, “A more modest proposal seeks not the abandonment of the presidential system per se but the re-designing of term limits for political chief executives.

“This is in order to reduce the acrimonious conflict, divisiveness and instability arising from partisan or factional competition for executive offices in the federation.

“I support the proposals to transform the current tenure of two four-year terms into a single term of five or six years.

“Among other advertised benefits, single terms would avoid the distractions, manipulations and divisiveness of re-election campaigns while facilitating a more rapid circulation or rotation of power among the various groups.”

According to him, a single term of four years is also less costly as it will reduce the cost of conducting general elections every four years.

Ekweremadu urged Nigeria and other African countries to learn from the failures and successes of older democracies, particularly, the Latin American democracies.

He noted that many of the Latin Americans transited from autocratic regimes to democracies, discovering that the politics of succession, including incumbents’ penchant for self-perpetuation, was overheating the system.

As a solution, they adopted the single term presidency until such a time their respective democracies matured and stabilised, he said.

“It is for this reason that the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, which I chair, felt, in 2014, that a single term would serve the ends of our current democracy.

“Unfortunately, the recommendation failed because ethnic suspicions and parochial interests prevented reasonable and good faith evaluation of our worthy proposal,” he said.

Ekweremadu also suggested a rotational presidency among the ethnic groups or geographical zones, saying it might prove reassuring to ethnic groups and promote loyalty to the nation.

According to him, the rotational presidency will reassure every constituent part that power will come their way at a given interval.

“Therefore, it may well be time to re-visit the idea of rotational presidency that was first muted in Nigeria by late military Head of State Sani Abacha.”

He suggested a modification of the present presidential system to curtail presidential excesses, and importantly, create greater overlap and affinity between the executive and the legislative arms of government.

“To this end, a hybrid of both the presidential and parliamentary systems will go a long way in keeping the presidency in check, while also reaping the benefits inherent in presidential system.”

He advocated such modification as the introduction of `Question Time’ in the parliament to hold the ministers consistently accountable and the replacement of impeachment with a procedure for vote of no-confidence, among others.

He called for measures to check imperial presidency in Africa and the excesses of many leaders who are allegedly tyrannical and abusive as the military and civilian despots they criticised and replaced.

Earlier, Dr Uchenna Ekwo, the President of the centre, said it had fostered more critical journalism devoted to peace building and holding practitioners accountable.

“We are building a media system that supports peace, dialogue, non-violence and democracy,” Ekwo said.

The representative of the Permanent Observer of AU to the UN, Amb. Omer Mohamed, said Africa should be allowed to adopt a version of democracy peculiar to the continent.

Mohamed, who is also the Permanent Representative of Sudan to the UN, said Africa had had its peculiar challenge and particularly expressed regret over the sectarian crises in many parts of the continent.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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President Tinubu to Inaugurate Newly Paved Roads to Apapa, Tin Can Ports

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Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu is set to inaugurate the newly constructed paved roads leading to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos on Saturday.

This development is anticipated to bring significant relief to port users and operators who have endured years of hardship due to the previously dilapidated roads and severe traffic congestion in the area.

The commissioning of these roads marks a major milestone in the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and boost economic activities around the nation’s busiest ports.

The newly paved roads are expected to enhance the flow of goods and services, reduce operational costs for businesses, and alleviate the chronic traffic bottlenecks that have plagued the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas.

President Tinubu, who is scheduled to arrive in Lagos on Saturday morning, will perform the inauguration as his first assignment of the day.

The ceremony signifies a commitment to addressing the infrastructural challenges that have long hindered the efficiency of Nigeria’s maritime sector.

Mohammed Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), highlighted the importance of this project earlier this year.

He emphasized the NPA’s “zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to the free flow of traffic” and reiterated the agency’s dedication to improving port operations.

“Our zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to free flow of traffic is no fluke,” Koko said, noting that the rehabilitation efforts are aimed at consolidating gains achieved first in Apapa and now extending to Tin Can.

In January 2024, President Tinubu directed the Federal Ministry of Works to urgently and comprehensively repair the access roads to the Lagos Port Complex and Tin-Can Island Port Complex.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, echoed the urgency of this directive, pointing out that the poor condition of the port access roads had significantly increased internal logistics costs for importers and exporters.

“The dilapidated port access roads increase the cost of internal logistics for importers and exporters,” Oyetola noted.

The improved road infrastructure is expected to curb the exodus of businesses from the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas, which had been driven away by the severe logistical challenges.

The restoration of these critical routes is also anticipated to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness in international trade by facilitating smoother and more efficient port operations.

Following the inauguration of the port access roads, President Tinubu is also scheduled to flag off the Lagos to Calabar coastal road project at Victoria Island in Lagos.

Also, he will virtually inaugurate the newly rehabilitated 3rd Mainland Bridge, further underscoring his administration’s commitment to revitalizing Nigeria’s infrastructure.

The series of inaugurations and project launches underscore a broader strategy to enhance connectivity, reduce operational bottlenecks, and stimulate economic growth through improved infrastructure.

The completion of the Apapa and Tin Can Island port roads is a pivotal step in this direction, promising a new era of efficiency and productivity for Nigeria’s maritime sector.

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Iran Set for Presidential Elections on June 28 Following Raisi’s Tragic Death

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Ebrahim Raisi

The political landscape in Iran was abruptly reshaped following the untimely demise of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash over the weekend.

Now, the nation is poised for a significant transition with presidential elections scheduled for June 28 as reported by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Vice President Mohammad Mokhber will assume the role of president in the interim, in accordance with the constitution of the Islamic Republic.

This unexpected development comes in the wake of a tragic accident that claimed the lives of Raisi and eight others, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, in north-western Iran.

The government attributed the crash to adverse weather conditions and dense fog in the mountainous region.

As Iran prepares for the upcoming elections, candidates will have the opportunity to register starting May 30.

However, prospective candidates will undergo thorough vetting by the Guardian Council, a body comprising 12 clerics and jurists responsible for administering elections.

The council’s scrutiny is anticipated to be particularly stringent, given the unexpected vacancy in the presidency and the significance of the upcoming transition.

While Vice President Mokhber has assumed leadership in the interim period, it remains uncertain whether he will contest the presidential elections himself.

Speculation abounds as to who will emerge as the frontrunner in the electoral race, with many analysts suggesting that the clerical establishment and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may prefer a candidate aligned with Raisi’s ultraconservative stance, characterized by deep-seated distrust of the United States and Israel.

Raisi’s tenure as president was marked by polarizing policies and events.

His association with mass arrests and executions following violent protests in 2022, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini while in custody for allegedly violating Iran’s dress code, stirred controversy both domestically and internationally.

As such, his passing has not only left a void in Iran’s leadership but has also raised questions about the future trajectory of the nation’s politics.

With the presidential elections fast approaching, Iran finds itself at a critical juncture, grappling with the aftermath of a tragic loss while navigating the complexities of its political landscape.

As the nation mourns the passing of President Raisi, all eyes are now on the forthcoming electoral process, which is poised to shape Iran’s future in the post-Raisi era.

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Iran Mourns: Helicopter Crash Claims Lives of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian

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Ebrahim Raisi

A tragic helicopter crash has claimed the lives of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, sending shockwaves across the nation and plunging the country into mourning.

The fatal incident occurred in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, where the helicopter carrying the two senior officials and several other passengers crashed, resulting in the loss of all on board.

The crash site, now a scene of charred wreckage, stands as a somber reminder of the untimely demise of these key figures in Iranian politics.

President Raisi, who assumed office in August 2021, was widely regarded for his commitment to serving the Iranian people and advancing the nation’s interests on the global stage.

His tenure as president was marked by efforts to strengthen Iran’s position in regional affairs and enhance diplomatic relations with neighboring countries.

Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian played a pivotal role in shaping Iran’s foreign policy, particularly in fostering closer ties with neighboring nations in the Middle East, including Arab countries across the Gulf.

His diplomatic acumen and dedication to advancing Iran’s interests earned him respect both domestically and internationally.

The news of their tragic deaths has elicited an outpouring of grief and condolences from leaders and citizens alike, both within Iran and abroad.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed his deep sadness over the loss, highlighting President Raisi’s commitment to justice, peace, and the upliftment of the Muslim world.

Similarly, the European Union extended its sincere condolences to the families of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian, acknowledging the profound impact of their untimely passing on the Iranian nation.

The helicopter crash not only robbed Iran of two of its most prominent leaders but also left a void in the country’s political landscape.

As the nation grapples with this immense loss, tributes pour in from all corners, commemorating the contributions of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian to the advancement of Iran’s interests and the well-being of its people.

The legacy of these esteemed leaders will endure in the hearts and minds of Iranians, serving as a guiding light for future generations as they navigate the complexities of governance and diplomacy in an ever-changing world.

Iran mourns the loss of two of its finest sons, whose dedication and service will be remembered for years to come.

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