Buhari Replies Robert Clarke
KanyiDaily recalls that Clarke had stated that the constitution provides that the president can extend his tenure for six months in the first instance if conditions were not ripe for an election.
The elder statesman argued that the few months remaining before the 2023 elections are not sufficient to put an end to the insecurity in the country to make the conduct of the election possible.
He averred that it was wrong to believe that the President cannot stay in office for more than eight years of two tenures, stressing that Buhari can continue to give himself a fresh six months extension until the country becomes stable.
Reacting to the statement on Tuesday, Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the president will step down at the expiration of his tenure on May 29, 2023.
Shehu said stated that calls to suspend the election for an interim government will not happen, adding that the president is committed to observing democratic values by handing over to the candidate elected by the people.
He said: “Chief Clarke, a very well-respected elder, may be sincere in his wish for the President to extend his term by six months. We wish to categorically restate that the President will step down on May 29, 2023, after serving two terms – as per the Constitution.
“Having been the first recipient of a democratic transfer of power from an incumbent administration to an opposition candidate in Nigeria’s history, the President is committed to extending and entrenching democratic values across the country. He shall, in turn, hand the privilege of serving the people of Nigeria to whomever they choose through free, fair and credible elections.
“However, Chief Clarke is right to say that without security, Nigeria would not likely realise its true potential as a peaceful and prosperous nation. That is why it has been at the core of this administration. The results are there for all to see.
“Boko Haram has been forced back from controlling whole swathes of this country. Internally Displaced Persons are now returning to rebuild their communities.
“These achievements have been accomplished through the bravery and determination of the Nigerian armed forces and the fortitude of the people of our nation.
“New challenges have arisen and tackled in turn – whether it’s the National Livestock Transformation Plan to alleviate herder-farmer clashes, elimination of the leadership of ISWAP, or new efforts to combat banditry.
“Till the last day of the administration, the security of the citizens shall remain the administration’s paramount concern. We shall finish the job. Yet, in any case, respect for the Constitution and Nigerians’ democratic rights remains the best path to securing and then maintaining peace.
“Yet there are others, such as Chief Afe Babalola, that believe elections should be suspended, with the current elected government replaced by an interim unelected administration.
“This, he claims, is necessary to create a new Constitution for the people, made possible, paradoxically, by ignoring their democratic rights. Down that path lies crisis and instability.”
KanyiDaily recalls that Femi Adesina said Nigeria would have long been forgotten had President Buhari not came along to save the nation’s downfall into oblivion.