By Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
A legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to honour his promise to run for Presidency for only one term as a mark of respect for his office.
The eminent lawyer spoke yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, after delivering a lecture, entitled: Philanthropy and Law: Any Crossing Line? at a programme organised by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Radio Nigeria, Ibadan.
He urged the President not to renege on his promise to contest only for one term, although no written agreement was made on the matter.
According to him, the 1999 Constitution gives the President the right to contest for a second term in 2015, saying Dr Jonathan owes the nation a duty not to re-contest, to keep his promise.
Babalola said: “I do not know any portion of the 1999 Constitution which says if a President has been sworn in twice he cannot contest for a second term. I believe, subject to correction, that the sitting President, earlier served the remaining period in the tenure of his former principal, the late President Umar Yar’Adua, before contesting in 2011.
“If he said he would serve for just one term while campaigning, he should keep his words, to retain his credibility. If he said he would serve for only one term, I think it would be honourable to respect his word. For me, my word is my bond. In the olden days, our parents got married without any written contract. An unwritten agreement is binding just as a written one. Even if an agreement is made without a seal, it should be honoured. Unfortunately in this country, we don’t honour our word.
“We don’t have a Constitution in this country. I have been calling for a Sovereign National Conference in this country. The present Constitution restricts everything to Abuja while the states are mere conduit pipes through which funds are being looted.”
The educationist noted that philanthropy is a thing of the mind, saying it could be practised by those who care for those in need.
He urged the privileged members of the society to imbibe the culture of giving to others, adding that the great religions of the world emphasise love and cheerful giving.
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