Technocrat Media, Abuja
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman says President Muhammadu Buhari will hand over power to his successor when his tenure ends in 2023.
This development is in response to Robert Clarke, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who on Monday said the president is allowed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to extend his tenure in order to tackle the country’s security challenges.
Mr Shehu said the president is committed to observing democratic values by handing them over to the candidate elected by the people.
“Chief Robert Clarke, a very well respected elder may be sincere in his wish for the president to extend his term by six months. We wish to categorically restate that the president will step down on May 29th, 2023, after serving two terms – as per the constitution,” he said.
“Having been the first recipient of a democratic transfer of power from an incumbent administration to an opposition candidate in Nigerian history, the president 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.
“However, Chief Clarke is right to say that without security, Nigeria would not likely realise 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.”
He said the president will honour the constitution and the people’s right to decide in 2023.