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Exclusive: Real Reason Jonathan Refused To Sign NASS N1bn Amended Constitution

Nigeria’s Senate President David Mark (L) and Speaker Aminu Tambuwal of the House of Representatives (R)

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan main grouse with the amendments undertaken by the National Assembly was the outrageous life pension that the leadership of the legislative arm is expected to earn after leaving office, African Examiner has learnt.

The national assembly allegedly spent a whooping sum of one billion naira to produce the now rejected constitution amendment document.

According to our source, the President believed that the aspect of the amendment that gives bogus pension to the ex-leadership of the National Assembly, even when they could still remain in active service, was self serving.

“The President is of the view that National Assembly leadership are just first among equal members who got to leadership position by chance.

“If all former Senate Presidents, their Deputies and the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers are to take this pension, how many of them will the country be taking care of”.

The source said that such pension was unprecedented as it has not been done anywhere in the whole world.

He maintained that the constitution gave the lawmakers the right to choose a person who will lead them among themselves noting that Nigerians did not elect them as Speakers and Senate Presidents.

On the other hand, a President and his Vice are elected by all Nigerians to serve them for a specific number of terms after which they retire from public office.

On the contrary, a Senate President or Speaker can seek other elective offices that are also pensionable or he/she can even remain in the parliament as floor members.

The source said the President believes that given his assent to amendment of a constitution with such a superfluous clause will be a disservice to the tax payers whose money will be used to pay the pension.

Recall that the battle for the amended constitution was shifted to the Supreme Court, and the apex court has since stopped the national assembly from overriding the president’s veto.


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