Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, November 22, has cleared the air over a third term agenda, saying he can’t afford has no plans to remain in power after 2023 elections.
Buhari who spoke at the ongoing National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, asked members to begin preparation for the next party conference in the next 18 months.
“I want you to accept that you are now in charge, I am the president but APC is in charge. Please, I’d like to carry you along to make sure that APC becomes a permanent body.
“You should read the constitution because I’m not going to make a mistake of attempting to run a third term or whatever term. Besides the age, I swore by the holy book I believe in that I will go by the constitution and the constitution said two terms.
“I can afford to be reckless because I am not going to ask for anybody’s vote,” he added.
He charged party members to dominate their constituencies, taunting the 16 senators who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) prior to the 2019 general election for failing to secure a re-election.
Also speaking at the meeting, National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole said the 16 senators thought their defection could bring down the party, but they were punished by Nigerians who re-elected the party into power.
“The electorate also elected more members of the Federal House of Representatives on the APC platform.
“I also believe it is significant to point out that those who rebelled against this party, who sought to bring us down, who decamped at a critical moment, believing that they will destabilise us and we won’t have enough time to make up, as led by Senator Bukola Saraki, him and 15 others, by the special grace of God, the Nigerian electorates have chosen to punish them with their PVCs and their ballot papers and they were all voted out and APC senators were voted in to replace them.
Mr Oshiomhole added that the party is looking forward to the last senator out of the 16, losing his seat to the APC in a few months time.
“There is one still struggling, but as we speak, he is at 20,000ft below ground level and he is hoping that there will be a miracle that will bring him to ground level and then climb the tree to the senate. But by the grace of God, I believe that the deficit, there are no miracles in an election, particularly when they are free and fair.”
Meanwhile, the police dispersed two protesting groups who clashed at the entrance of the APC headquarters, prior to the NEC meeting.
A pro and an anti-Oshiomhole group clashed throwing dangerous objects at themselves, leaving passers-by within the vicinity to scamper for safety, while occupants of houses and offices hurriedly shut their entrances.
The drama started when a media briefing organised by the anti-Oshiomhole group was disrupted by another group, which stoked the attacks.
However, normalcy has returned to the area after the police dispersed the groups with canisters of teargas.
No casualty was recorded in the fracas.