Wednesday, 12 June, 2024

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“Resist It”: Odinkalu Calls Out Controversial Draft Bill To Replace Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, Hints At Third Term Move


Chidi Odinkalu, a prominent Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, has taken to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to express his concerns over the recently trending Draft Bill for an Act to Substitute the 1999 Constitution with the 2024 Constitution.

In a series of tweets, Odinkalu called out the Nigerians and national leaders, alleging that the proposed changes to the constitution could potentially pave the way for a third term for the incumbent president.

Odinkalu’s tweets highlighted two key points of contention. Firstly, he noted that under the proposed changes, the existing presidential term would not count towards the new term limits.

Secondly, he pointed out that the draft bill suggests extending the presidential term to six years, with a maximum of two terms allowed. This effectively means that a president could potentially serve for up to 16 years, which is double the current limit of eight years.

Even if the proposed changes were to allow for a combination of four years and six years, Odinkalu argued that this would still amount to a total of 10 years, which is 25% longer than the current limit. He urged Nigerians to resist these proposed changes, using the hashtag #Resist to emphasize his point.

In a follow-up tweet, Odinkalu stated that the only way to make changes to the presidential term limits in Nigeria would be to ensure that such changes are explicitly futuristic and prohibit the incumbent from benefiting from any alterations to tenure or term limits. He challenged proponents of the draft bill to demonstrate such provisions, failing which he would consider the proposed changes as a clear attempt to secure a third term for the current president.

Odinkalu’s tweets have sparked a heated debate on social media, with many Nigerians expressing their concerns over the implications of the proposed constitutional changes.

Credit: The Nigeria Lawyer

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