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PDP chides Buhari over comment on ‘standing down’ in 2023


PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan. Photo: FACEBOOK

Third term agenda is treasonable, says Owuru
Stepping down is misuse of language, ex-NLC scribe declares
Afenifere laments President’s failed promises

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw his comment in his New Year’s message on ‘standing down’ in 2023, insisting that the President and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have no choice than to leave office at the end of his tenure.

In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP described President Buhari’s New Year’s message as “completely uninspiring, tasteless, repetitive, vacuous and does not galvanise any hope for a despairing nation like ours.”

It said Mr. President should have the courage to give a fresh New Year message to show remorse for his administration’s corruption, incompetence and misrule and admonish APC against its insincerity, violence and divisive machinations that have brought pain, anguish and despondency to Nigerians.On Buhari’s comment that he will leave office at the end of his tenure, it said: “Indeed, the President should stop presenting the picture as if he has the option to continue in office beyond 2023.
“The PDP holds that in total submission to the letter and spirit of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), it is not an issue of ‘standing down’ or not being ‘available’ for future election, but a decided and inevitable position as contained in our constitution that he must quit office after two terms, which ends in 2023.“He, therefore, does not have any other choice before the law. Whether President Buhari likes it or not, he and the APC will quit power at the end of this tenure. History is replete with lessons of those who sought to stretch our nation beyond its limits.

“Moreover, President Buhari and his APC ought to have known by now that Nigerians have moved ahead and cannot wait to see them leave. Nigerians are no longer swayed by empty promises and false performance indices as replete in Mr. President’s new year message.”

Besides, presidential candidate of Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the 2019 general elections, Ambrose Owuru, said President Buhari’s assertion that he would not seek a third tenure was treasonable.Owuru, who described the president’s New Year’s speech as uninspiring, said Buhari missed an opportunity to apologise to Nigerians for the flawed election that brought him back to power last year.

However, immediate past General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress ((NLC), Peter Odo-Eason, said the media quoting President Buhari that he would step down in 2023 was misuse of language. He said: “The media must use the right language in speaking on national issues. The issue of Buhari leaving office in 2023 is not a personal choice. He does not have a say in the matter. The constitution says no Nigerian can spend more than eight years as President or governor. So, for President Buhari to say that he will leave office in 2023 is a misunderstanding of how constitutional democracy works.”

Meanwhile, Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere yesterday described the Buhari’s New Year’s message as election manifesto and campaign. Its Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, told The Guardian on telephone that since the present administration, the President had been giving promises to Nigerians, which had never been fulfilled. Odumakin noted that it was time the President got down to work and spare Nigerians other failed promises.

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