Buhari Says Won’t seek 3rd Term…Tackles Reckless Political Elite
By Idowu Isamotu, Abuja
President Muhamadu Buhari on Friday faulted insinuations in some quarters that he has plans to thwart Nigeria’s constitution by contesting for third term in office, insisting that he would not make the mistake of attempting a third term in office.
Buhari, who stated this in Abuja during National Executive Council meeting of the All Progressives Congress warned Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee and other NEC members not to divide the party when he leaves office in 2023.
He asked all the leaders of the party, specifically NEC members to show more seriousness and dominate politically in their constituencies, adding that it will be shame if APC collapse after his tenure.
“Yesterday at the meeting of the caucus, I made some comments, which are still relevant here but to me, the most important is that every member of NEC should reposition himself or herself to make sure that you have dominated your constituency politically.
“The aim is that, as I mentioned yesterday, history will not be fair to us outrightly if the APC collapses at the end of this term. I’m not going to make the mistake of attempting a third term. Besides the age, the constitution makes provision for only two terms,” he said.
He added, “History will be fair to us if the APC remain strong and not only holds the center but make gains. People will reflect with nostalgia that once upon a time, the builders of APC made a lot of sacrifices, worked very hard. The sacrifices are physical, material and moral to make sure that we maintain the Leadership, politically of this system.
“This is what we should all aim at and ensure that our constituencies understand us and follow us to this great objective. The chairman has tried to mention our performance during the last series of elections, what happened in Imo, Bauchi, Sokoto, Zamfara are really unfortunate. I will like you in your constituencies to make sure that you read the Constitution of the party and understand it, and you stick to it.
“What we did for you the executive, NWC is bottom to top. You must make sure that people elected to be responsible for polling units to wards to local governments to states to here (Presidency) are respected in their respective constituencies.
“This is the only way we can make this party survive, this is the only way history will be kind to us that we have led with absolute concern for the country and for the people.
“If for any other reason, you divide the party, at any constituency and it causes failure, then be prepared that history will not recognize you as a leader at any level at anytime.
“Yesterday, I had to mention our relationship and when I say ‘our’, I mean the executive and the legislature and I was constrained to tell you (those that were there), there was a time I called the Senate President and the Leader of the House and told them that to sit on a budget for 7 months is not politics or is it hurting the president, whoever he is. It is hurting the country and the people we swore by the books we believe in, to serve them whole-heartedly.
“For that reason, I was pleased to mention yesterday, that the 9th Assembly, you can see and read in the papers, they have shown so much commitment, they sit down on important issues and we make a lot of progress.
“This relationship, we will try and maintain because there are a lot of things that will not go public. We cannot allow those things to go public but I want to tell you that we are making a lot of progress and what people fail to do is to appreciate the progress that this administration has done, what we inherited when we came in 2015.
“I went public to try to make the Nigerian elites understand that the 16 years of PDP did not portray the Nigerian elites as a contentious group, in the sense that, my experience in pertroleum in the late 70s, proved that from 1999 to 2014, the average production was 2.1 million barrel per day at the average cost of 100 American dollars. It went up to 143.
“And you know what happened when we came, it collapsed to 37, 38 and the militants were unleashed on the administration, production was reduced to half a million. So, Nigeria was earning virtually for 16 years 2.1 million, times 100 for 16years, 7 days a week.
“But look at what look at the condition of the roads, the railway was killed and there was no power and if the infrastructure was good, a lot of Nigerians will not even bother who was the government because Nigerians are very competitive but some of the roads were done since the good old days of the PTF.
“From here to Enugu to Onitcha and back, from here to Port Harcourt and back, some of them arr almost gone. Look at the railways, it was virtually killed. those of you who have time to be watching news over the last couple of years and see the amount of casualties between Lagos and Ibadan alone, the number of persons that were dying on daily basis and the vehicles that were lost, i think the Nigerian elites for keeping quiet when so much evil was being committed, have not done themselves any good to theselves and country.
“I have gone out to mention this negative things to you so that you can now accept that you are now in charge. It is okay, I am the President but APC is in charge and I am concerned about history because having been a governor, a minister, in detention, attempt four times and gone to Supreme Court three times, there isn’t much that any Nigerian politician can tell me. I have gone through all the mill.
“So, please, I will like to carry you along to make sure that we have waken up this country and wherever we find ourselves, we make sure that APC has become a permanent body.
“I said we should read the Constitution because I will not make the mistake of attempting to have a third term or whatever term. Besides the age, I swore by the Holy book that I believe in that I will go by the Constitution and the Constitution says 2 terms. I know that I am in my last term and i can afford to be reckless because I know i will not be asking for anybody’s vote. For that reason, I want you to read the Constitution and make sure that what the Constitution.”