Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari accelerates reforms

In Nigeria, the presidential election is moving ahead.

The head of state Muhammadu Buhari who intends to seek a second term, has put a boost. After more than three years in office marked by health problems, numerous trips abroad for treatment and a major economic recession, he is multiplying the measures.

In particular, it has just promulgated four constitutional amendments.
One of these four amendments limits the number of terms of office of the Vice-President.

It establishes that a vice-president who succeeds a president or a vice-governor who succeeds a governor can run for office only once.

This is to avoid a reproduction of the “Goodluck Jonathan” scenario. President from 2010 to 2015, his fate of second candidacy had at the time sowed discord within the ruling party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party(PDP).

His opponents from the Muslim North considered that he could not run in the presidential election of 2015. Because he had completed the term of Umaru Yard’Adua at his death in 2010, before being elected in 2011.

What represented two consecutive terms, in accordance with the Constitution.

For supporters of the Christian South, Jonathan had the freedom to run for a second term since he was elected only once. Justice will finally decide the difference, and Jonathan was able to represent himself. But the affair marked political life with a hot iron.

Coincidence of the calendar, the promulgation of this text intervenes whereas Muhammadu Buhari intends to represent itself, at 75 years. Sick and often absent during his first two years of practice, his new candidacy worries some Northerners who do not exclude, if elected, a possible death in office and a “confiscation” of power by a vice-president of the South.

Financial independence

But this is not the only important constitutional amendment that the President has just promulgated. Of the four, one of them grants financial independence to the assemblies and the jurisdictional courts of the states of the federation.

According to Benjamin Auge, researcher at the French Institute of International Relations, this is a democratic advance.

“This measure limits the possibilities of corruption and online loss of money that has been disbursed from the central bank to the governor’s office.”

“Secondly, it also prevents a kind of blackmail between the governor’s office and the state parliament, where there may be differences of view on the policy or a desire to delay payments. There, you remove a step, so there will be no more difficulty between the governor and the chamber or the governor and the different courts of the states concerned.”

“This is rather better for Nigerian democracy since disbursements are faster and in President Buhari’s fight against corruption, it is a rather wise decision.”

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