by Musa Abdullahi Krishi & Ibrahim Kabiru Sule
As President Goodluck Jonathan prepares to make formal declaration of his re-election bid on November 11, some All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the House of Representatives said they would challenge the president’s eligibility in court.
The lawmakers said President Jonathan would be making his third stint in office, which is against the provision of the constitution that stipulates only two terms of four years to any elected president.
This is coming few days after Jonathan had made known his decision to stand for the 2015 presidential election, with former defence minister, Bello Haliru heading his declaration committee.
An APC member from Kano State, Rep Nasiru Sule Garo, said at the weekend that they would wait for Jonathan to declare first before heading to court.
“People are ready to go (to court). We are just waiting for him to declare. For now, he is not a candidate; he is just being endorsed just like during Abacha’s regime, when selfish individuals were just coming out to say that Abacha was the sole candidate of every other party.
“By the constitution of Nigeria, I don’t think the president has any right for now to contest. He has been sworn in twice, and our constitution says that a person shall occupy office of the president for two terms of four years which makes it eight years.
“This president has occupied this position for two years, and he contested election and he is occupying for four years which makes it six,” Garo, who represents Gwarzo/Kabo Federal Constituency said.
He said the agitation to contest Jonathan’s eligibility followed a Supreme Court’s ruling on former Adamawa State governor, Boni Haruna, which stopped his re-election bid after completing the tenure of his predecessor and another four years.
Jonathan’s re-election, he said, implies that “he is going to be sworn-in for the third term, that one too can be contested, and is he going to serve for two years and then we do another election or is he going to violate the constitution and serve for four years, which would make him the president of Nigeria for 10 years?”