Chief Robert Clarke, a seasoned statesman, has advocated for President Muhammadu Buhari’s term to be extended.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who stated this on Monday, maintained that the months preceding the elections in 2023 are insufficient to end the insecurity and make the elections possible.
Clarke stated, during an appearance on ARISE Television, that the Constitution allows the President to extend his term by six months in the first instance if he deems conditions unfavourable for holding elections.
He asserted that it was erroneous to suppose that the President could not serve for longer than eight years across two terms.
Clarke stated that President buhari is able to continue granting himself six-month extensions until elections are held.
He stated, “According to the Constitution, the President’s term can exceed eight years.” I’ve always stated this. It appears in the Constitution. The Constitution states that if the current situation persists and it becomes impossible to vote in the 2023 election, the President would write INEC. In light of the insurgencies, kidnappings, and Boko Haram, I do not believe that we can have a good election in these diverse regions of Nigeria.
“According to the Constitution, I will first remain for six months.” Therefore, the fact that the Constitution states that the president cannot serve beyond eight years is incorrect. Because the same constitution allows him to grant himself a six-month reprieve if the conditions remain.
“Now, there is no green light in sight. I don’t see how what is occurring today can be halted in the next six months or before February of next year, when the electionsștiill be held.
“The alternative is for Mr. President to continue as president, allowing the security forces to carry out the mopping up, and for Nigeria to achieve stability.”
“Because I vow to God Almighty, without stability and security in Nigeria, Nigeria is doomed to failure,” When he realises that any of his expats who are deployed to Nigeria could be kidnapped at any time, no foreigner will invest in Nigeria or bring his money there. I therefore do not see a green light until all of these issues are resolved.”
“God forbid, if nothing occurs before the elections, our country would be engulfed in flames,” Clarke threatened.
The legal scholar lamented that the country has not been well-governed since 1999, when the most recent democratic regime took power, noting efforts to overthrow the Constitution by exploiting its weaknesses.
He said, “I am 84 years old, and I can guarantee you that I have enjoyed the best time of my life in my law practise, my social life, and in every part of my life, but those days have passed. Since 1999, I have been an unhappy man due to the manner in which Nigeria has moved.
“For example, view our first President Obasanjo with due respect.” What was his initial bad behaviour? I am seeking re-election. Can you envision? However, he asserts that it is not he who want a third term, but rather a mutual friend.
“We began the 1999 Constitution by searching for loopholes through which to violate it. Nigeria has no green light in my estimation. And if we’re not careful, if we’re not careful, if we’re not careful, this is our only solace.”
Clarke’s plea for a term extension was in response to an earlier proposal by another legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola, to postpone the 2023 general elections and install an interim government at the conclusion of President Buhari’s term in May 2023.
The founder of Afe Babalola University advocated for the interim administration to remain in power for six months in order to create a new constitutional path for Nigeria.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also opined that it was regretful that the 1999 Constitution imposed on Nigerians by the military was no longer in sync with contemporary reality.
“The same Constitution has made politics not only immensely alluring, but also the sole lucrative business in Nigeria at present.
“This means that any election held under the current circumstances will produce transactional and recycled politicians who are incapable of turning the situation around,” he continued.