The Presidency disclosed that it won’t extend its constitutionally mandated tenure of 8 years presidency, stating that the President is committed to entrenching democratic values across the country.
This was disclosed in a statement by President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, on Tuesday in response to Chief Roberts Clarke’s call for the extension of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by six months.
It also stated that calls to suspend the election for an interim government will not happen.
What the presidency is saying
Shehu said Buhari would handover to democratically elected winners of the forthcoming 2023 general elections on May 29, citing that in response to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria’s recent remarks, the Presidency wishes to state as follows:
He said, ”Chief Robert 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 29th, 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 Nigerian 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.”
He added that 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, as Boko Haram has been forced back from controlling whole swathes of the country and Internally Displaced Persons are now returning to rebuild their communities.
He maintained that until the last day of the administration, the security of the citizens shall remain the administration’s paramount concern.
On a similar call by another respect lawyer, Afe Babalola, that the 2023 general elections be suspended in view of the nation’s security challenges.
He said: ”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.
”Instead, this administration proposes something entirely simpler: honouring the constitution and people’s right to decide.”