By BASHIR ADEFAKA
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s admonition to ECOWAS leaders on tenure elongation as yet another indication of his respect for constitutional provisions on the term in office, and the rule of law.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, and sent to The DEFENDER on Tuesday, the BMO said it also finally laid to rest speculations on a possible third term agenda.
It noted that the President’s position on constitution limits on tenure at the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey, Niger Republic was a clear message to people who felt he had plans to extend his term in office.
BMO added that President Buhari’s position on free and fair election in his address also reflected the true situation in Nigeria.
The group recalled how former Governor of Bayelsa state Seriake Dickson turned up at the Presidential villa to commend the President for his non-interference in the December 2015 gubernatorial elections in the state.
It added this has since been the situation in the Buhari era with the ruling party losing local elections at the polls and also in the courts, without any attempt by federal authorities to interfere.
“We invite Nigerians to view the President’s assertion on Constitution limits on tenure at the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments in Niamey, Niger Republic as a clear message to people who felt he had plans to extend his term in office.
“It is a reflection of his mindset as well as a disdain for the penchant by some African leaders to perpetuate themselves in office beyond the limit outlined in their Constitutions.
“We know that some time ago, the Presidency had publicly disowned some unscrupulous people who launched an ill-advised campaign for a possible third term for the President.
“But if there were still doubts in the mind of anybody about President Buhari’s real intention, then this direct message should indeed set the record straight”, it added.
Free and fair elections
“This is a President that has since his election in 2015 shown a demonstrable commitment to free and fair polls that has never been seen in the polity.
“No Nigerian should forget how former Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson turned up at the Presidential Villa to commend President Buhari for his non-interference in the December 2015 gubernatorial elections in the state against a formidable Timipre Sylva.
“We recall that he was emphatic that there was no attempt to use what is referred to as Federal might to sway the election in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in contrast to what prevailed in Nigeria’s political space in the pre-Buhari era.
“This has since then been the situation with the ruling party losing some local elections at the polls and also in the courts, without any attempt by Federal authorities to truncate the electoral will of the people, and today the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is thriving in a way that no opposition was allowed to grow between 1999 and 2015.
“This shows that President Buhari is a real democrat that is not vindictive, knowing how much he suffered in the hands of PDP, which also made it difficult for him to get justice in the courts”.
It reassured Nigerians that the President is committed to electoral reforms and would entrench a stronger system that would guarantee free, fair and credible elections at all levels.