The former Senate President Ken Nnamani, has said he killed the third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo after he pondered over how people perceived legislation in Nigeria.
Nnamani said his model of legislating was shaped by the debate about whether the legislator is an agent or a trustee and had to choose which was best for Nigeria.
He said this in Abuja while speaking during the official launch of his book titled “Standing strong: Legislative reforms, third term and other issues of the 5th Senate”.
The former Senate President said he wrote the book with intention not to sensationalize but to present a factual account without malice to anyone.
According to Nnamani, “I wanted senators to vote with their mind on the question of whether we should amend the constitution to allow President Obasanjo a third term. I also wanted their votes to represent the views of their constituents.
“To be an informed trustee, the senators needed to understand the view of their constituents before casting their votes. On this basis, the senate adjourned to allow the senators consult with their constituents about the constitution amendment. With this intervention, some senators returned with enlightened views.
“We decided to televise the proceedings. Publicising the proceedings was not supported by those who wanted to smuggle into the Constitution the extension of tenure through undefined and darkened procedure,” the former senate president, who is currently a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said.
“They knew that if we had sidelined Nigerians from the proceedings, and therefore reduced public pressure on the legislature, it would be possible to ram through, but I stood strong.
“We overcame intense pressure even from the highest level of government. We continued to broadcast the proceedings. The result of the publicity and openness was that we secured our democracy.
“The degree of public interest the debate generated owed largely to the decision to televise our proceedings. This was the origin of the now institutionalised use of television to publicise proceedings of the National Assembly.
“The publicising of the proceedings made lawmakers to seat – up because no one wants to be caught on camera, either sleeping.”
Former Senator Nnamani, who represented Enugu East Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was senate president between 2005 and 2007.
It was during his tenure that Obasanjo, in 2006, sought to extend his tenure beyond the constitutionally-allowed two terms of four years each in 2006, an allegation the former President Obasanjo has repeatedly denied.