President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to the call for him to extend his tenure by six months.
This was in response to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Robert Clarke’s recent remarks, where he demanded that Buhari should elongate his stay in office.
While the Presidency, through Garba Shehu, spokesperson to the President, noted that Clarke, may be sincere in his wish, he maintained that Buhari “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.
“Internally Displaced Persons are now returning to rebuild their communities. This achievement has 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, 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.
“Yet there are others, such as Chief Afe Babalola, (SAN), 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.”