In his response to calls by some eminent Nigerians to extend his stay in government to stem the wave of insecurity in the country, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he will strictly abide by constitutional provisions and hand-over political power on May 29, 2023.
In a release issued through Garba Shehu, spokesperson to the President, the Nigerian leader noted that while proponents of tenure elongation may mean well for the nation, “we will step down on May 29th, 2023, after serving two terms – as per the constitution.”
The presidency said that Buhari, having taken over from an incumbent government in 2015, 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,” the statement said.
“However, Chief Clarke is right to say that without security, Nigeria would not likely realize 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 terrorists have been forced back from controlling whole swathes of this country.
“New challenges have arisen and tackled in turn – whether it’s the National Livestock Transformation Plan to alleviate herder-farmer clashes, the 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.
Eminent citizen, Robert Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had demanded that Buhari should elongate his stay in office.
Also, Chief Afe Babalola, another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, called for the suspension of the 2023 elections, with the current elected government replaced by an interim unelected administration.
Garba Shehu stated that Chief Babalola’s proposition, “paradoxically ignores democratic rights. Down that path lies crisis and instability. Instead, this administration proposes something entirely simpler: honouring the constitution and people’s right to decide.”