President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that there is no turning back on his constitutionally mandated departure, emphasising that the May 29, 2023, handover date is inviolable.
Buhari, through his media adviser Malam Garba Shehu, stated that the current administration would respect the constitution and the right of the people to decide.
Chief Robert Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), proposed that the current constitution be suspended and replaced with a new one. READ MORE
Clarke had stated that the President may receive a six-month extension if instability threatened the general elections of 2023.
However, the president stated that the proposal to suspend the constitution could cause turmoil and instability.
“In reaction to the recent comments of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the Presidency wishes to make the following statement: Chief Robert Clarke, a highly respected elder, may be earnest in his request that the President prolong his tenure by six months. We reaffirm absolutely that the President will resign on May 29, 2023, after serving two terms, as required by the constitution.”
“As the first beneficiary of a democratic transfer of power from an incumbent administration to an opposition candidate in the history of Nigeria, the President is committed to expanding and enforcing democratic norms throughout the country. In turn, he would transfer the privilege of serving the Nigerian people to anyone they elect in free, fair, and honest elections.
“However, Chief Clarke is correct in stating that Nigeria would not likely reach its full potential as a peaceful and successful society without security. That is why it has been a pillar of this administration’s policies. The consequences are readily apparent. Boko Haram is no longer in control of large portions of this country.
“IDPs are currently returning to rebuild their communities.” These accomplishments were made possible by the valour and resolve of the Nigerian military forces and the fortitude of our nation’s citizens.
“New difficulties have emerged and been addressed in succession, whether it’s the National Livestock Transformation Plan to reduce herder-farmer conflicts, the elimination of ISWAP’s leadership, or new attempts to combat banditry. The security of the citizenry will be the administration’s top priority until the last day of its term. We will complete the task. Respect for the Nigerian constitution and democratic rights is the most effective means of securing and sustaining peace.
“Yet some, such as Chief Afe Babalola, feel that elections should be suspended and that the current elected government should be replaced with an interim unelected administration. He asserts that this is required to construct a new constitution for the people, which is ironically made feasible by disregarding their democratic rights. This route leads to crises and insecurity. This administration suggests something much simpler: respecting the constitution and the right of the people to decide.”