Why Buhari will not seek third term – Presidency

Why Buhari will not seek third term – PresidencyWhy Buhari will not seek third term – Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari last night rejected rumours making the rounds on social media that he was seeking to amend the constitution to spend a third term in office.

This clarification is coming as the president will today leave Abuja on a three-day state visit to South Africa, acting on the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Presidency described the report about third term as inconceivable and uninformed.

The president was reacting to messages and commentaries on social media, alleging that he had no intention to leave office upon the expiration of his second term.

The insinuation became stronger when some of his supporters began to stage demonstrations, urging him to go for a third term.

In a swift reaction to the campaign and reports last night, the president, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said under no circumstance could he amend the constitution to give him a third term.

Describing the insinuation as ill-conceived, the statement said Buhari had no intention to stay in office beyond 2023.

He also described any attempt to take such steps as not only wrong but also unconstitutional.

The statement described Buhari as a democrat who respects the constitution, and any attempt to amend the constitution to secure an unconstitutional third term will ultimately fail.

The statement read: “The Presidency wishes to correct internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term.

“There are no circumstances – nor set of circumstances – under which President Buhari may seek to amend the Constitution regarding the two-term limit on holding office as President.

“President Buhari intends to serve his full second elected term in office, ending 2023 – and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate.

“There is not even the faintest possibility that this will change. It is important to note that there was a past attempt to change the Constitution to allow for the-then incumbent president to stand for a third term.

“That attempt was wrong, unconstitutional – and rightly rebuffed. No such attempt will happen under this President.

“President Buhari is a democrat. He respects the Constitution. Any activity aimed at altering the two-term limit will not succeed and shall never have his time nor support.”

Meanwhile,President Buhari will today leave Abuja on a three-day state visit to South Africa, acting on the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Shehu, in a separate statement, said Buhari was embarking on the trip to discuss welfare of Nigerians with a view to finding common grounds for building harmonious relations with their hosts.

According to him, the visit is coming against the background of recent xenophobic attacks which resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of Nigerians as well as exchange of visits by special envoys of both Buhari and Ramaphosa.

Shehu explained that while in South Africa, the Nigerian leader would hold a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in the country.

He said the meeting would provide the president with the platform to sharing in their experiences and reassuring them of Nigerian government’s commitment to working for the protection of their lives and property and as well promoting peaceful co-existence.

Shehu added that Buhari and his host would preside over the South Africa/Nigeria Bi-National Commission, during which a progress report would be presented.

He disclosed that at the end of the meeting, both leaders would sign a joint communiqué.

The statement said the president and his delegation including Nigerian business representatives in the country would participate at a South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum with their host counterparts.

It also said Buhari would be accompanied to South Africa by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

Also traveling with the president are: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd); Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; and Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum.

Shehu also listed presidential aides on the trip to include the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and Chairman/CEO, Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

He said Buhari would be back in Abuja on Friday.

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