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Governor Umahi Advocates 3 Terms and 70-Years Age Limit for Lawmakers

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ABAKALIKI, Nigeria — Outgoing governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, is advocating for a radical shakeup in Nigerian legislative protocol, pushing for a three-term limit and an age cap of 70 for lawmakers.

“I will suggest strongly that the tenures of the legislators should be fixed and there should be also an age limit for legislators. This is very important. You can give them three tenures. Age limit of 70 years will be good,” Umahi said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

The proposition from the two-term governor comes as he prepares to transition to the Senate in June, following his eight-year tenure leading Ebonyi State.

In the face of criticism that former governors lack the necessary experience to function effectively as legislators, Umahi strongly defended his future colleagues.

“The National Assembly is not a retirement home for governors. It’s a place that they want to put the experiences they acquired over the years in the governance of their states to move the nation forward,” he said.

Umahi’s move to the 10th National Assembly, where he will represent the Ebonyi South Senatorial District, comes after a failed bid for the Senate Presidency.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, recently zoned the position to the South-South geopolitical zone, ceding it to former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godwill Akpabio.

Despite the disappointment, Umahi publicly accepted the party’s decision, attributing his acceptance to his respect for the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu.

He also announced his leadership of the campaign for the Akpabio-Barau Senate leadership aspiration.

Whether Umahi’s proposed legislative reforms are a bid for restructuring or a strategic move to consolidate power within a limited cadre of politicians remains a topic of speculation and debate.

As Nigeria navigates its intricate political landscape, the impact of these proposed changes on the country’s governance structures will undoubtedly attract intense scrutiny.

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