Despite the outright denial by the Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in running for a third term, facts have emerged that h
Despite the outright denial by the Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in running for a third term, facts have emerged that he is perfecting plans to continue in office at the expiration of his second tenure in 2023, according to Business Day.
The Presidency had said Buhari would 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.
But political observers are becoming more curious that Buhari through the ‘Cabal’ in the Presidency is leaving no stone unturned, including constitutional amendment, arm-twisting of the judiciary, pocketing the electoral umpire, rubber-stamping the legislature and castrating Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to realise the third term bid.
Only recently, an erstwhile political associate of Buhari, who is now the National Chairman of Reformed All Progressives Congress, rAPC, Buba Galadima, raised the alarm that the President may be contesting in the 2023 presidential election. Galadima said the forces controlling Buhari are planning to lure him into running for third term, alleging that the present administration has pocketed the judiciary and is doing all it could to muzzle the opposition.
Apart from Galadima, other political actors who however, lack the audacity to come out publicly are speaking in low tones that Buhari and his handlers are not ready to vacate the scene after 2023. Some inside sources within the power cycle who would not want to be mentioned agreed that there are hidden plans for the incumbent President to continue in office beyond 2023.
They alluded to the fact that Buhari may not want policy somersault particularly the war against corruption, border closure, among others hence, the desire to have another tenure which would provide enough time for their consolidation.
Sources noted that the continued retention of Service Chiefs even when some have attained 40 years against the mandatory 35 years of retirement is part of the plan not to inject new blood into the system to pave way for the unhindered tenure elongation. The sources further disclosed that constitutional amendment is imminent and it would be targeted at creating a six-year single tenure so that after Buhari, no one would enjoy serving for a second tenure and in a way making him the last longest serving President.
The indications to amend the constitution are becoming even palpable. So far, three bills to amend the constitution have passed first reading in the National Assembly, especially in the House of Representatives which may not be unconnected with tenure elongation or six-year single term for President. These bills are: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.408) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.410) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.418) (Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante).
Also, there is anxiety within the ranks and file of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that the party would go down with President Buhari if he exits in 2023 as he is presently the uniting force of the strange bed fellows – the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), parts of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP). As recently decried by former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, APC might lose its current grip of power in 2023 as APC is a party that they hurriedly put together when they were governors, with Buhari as the fulcrum.