Third Term Agenda For Buhari: Fifth Columnist At Work As Advocates For Restructuring of Nigeria Intensify Their Campaign

By Suleiman Umaru

Barely  four months after  the inauguration  of President Muhammadu Buhari for his second term in office, the fifth Columnist who tried to fly the kite to force  former President Olusegun Obasanjo to alter the 199  Constitution as amended , to seek a third  term agenda on the ground that he is the best for the country appear to be back to work.

 This  time , they are testing the waters to see how the Katsina state  born Nigerian President would key into the plan and throw his weight behind them to go ahead  with the  sensitization Campaign of the public about the third term agenda for Buhari.

They may have got it wrong as he is not ready to support  their plot to alter the Constitutional arrangement of the country which gives a maximum of  two terms for Presidents.  The President who is in Pretoria on the invitation of Cyril Ramaphosa,  the  South African President with 10 state governors and  a retinue of ministers, may not be in the country to respond to the third   agenda campaigners but Garba Shehu , a Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity , may have spoken his mind  when he said ‘’there was no plans to amend the Constitution  regarding the two-term limit for Presidents’’.

Ahmed Lawan: Senate President

Garba noted that  although there had been attempt in the past  to change the Constitution  to suit then President Olusegun Obasanjo  who was desperate to stand for a third term in office but was turned  down by the National Assembly.  Describing the plot as ‘’wrong and  unconstitutional’’,  he  asserted that it would not fly  under  the Administration  of Buhari, a sworn Democrat  who’’ respects the Constitution  and would never  support any activity aimed  at altering the Constitutional provisions of the country’’.

 The Presidential Spokesperson  assured Nigerians that that they have no reason to lose sleep over the alleged plan as  the’ ‘’President intends  to serve  his full  second term  in office , ending in 2023 and then  there shall be  a general election  in which  he will not be a Candidate’’ . He insists that ‘’there is not even  the faintest possibility  that this will change’’.

Recall that about six months ago,  Senator Sabi Abdullahi, Spokesperson  to Ahmad Lawan, the senate  President, had dismissed the alleged  plot   to amend the Constitution  to allow  for a third term  in office of the President  as false. The news became so pronounced  that Abdullahi  was forced to speak out   linking   the report   to those opposed  to the emergence of  the Borno state politician as the Senate President. According to him they had feared that his emergence as the Senate President would pave the way for the amendment of the Constitution  for Buhari to seek a third term in office because of their closeness.

Abdullahi who could not hide his feelings  described  those peddling the third term agenda for Buhari as  ‘’desperate  politicians who want  to taint the  good image  of the Senate President’’ . There is no gain saying the fact that the President had repeatedly made it clear to those that cares to listen that he wants  to retire   quietly  to his home town, Daura, in Katsina state in 2023, to his farm business.

Given his avowed intention to serve his full second term, he has vowed to leave a lasting legacy of governance  behind for future Nigerian leaders. The  failure of Obasanjo to achieve his third term agenda in 2007, which was said to have been frustrated by Atiku Abubakar, then Vice President, may have been the reason why the former President  had refused to support Atiku’s Presidential ambition, insisting that he is not fit to rule the country.

Despite the politics of the third term tem agenda for Presidents  which had started during the Obasanjo regime, Ayo Adebanjo, an elder Statesman and Chieftain of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural Organisation has  lamented  that  the country  had not been lucky  to  have the ‘’right people  at the helm of Affairs   while reviewing the country’s 59 years of Independence on Channels Television last  on Tuesday.

An aggrieved Adebanjo  stressed  that the myriads  of challenges  which the country had faced since 1960 and now  are mainly due  to the quality of the leaders  as they could not find solutions to them. The only time, which he claimed   the country  was fortunate to have the right leaders  at the helm of Affairs was between 1960  and 1963.  

Given his assessment  of the country political leaders after 1963,  he explained that the people  ‘’we have been unfortunate  to have , do not had the direction  of those who  fought  for  the country’s Independence , describing them as’’ big disappointment’’.  He stopped short at saying that since the military intervention in the country’s politics in 1966, ‘’we have not been fortunate with leadership’’. He is right.

 Tanko Yakassai, an elder Statesman, and a Chieftain of Arewa Consultative Forum, believes that the restructuring of the country would solve the leadership problem as every region would be allowed to develop at its own  pace as obtained in the First Republic.  Edwin Clark, a former Federal Commissioner of Communications, under the  former General Yakubu Gowon Administration and an Ijaw leader  wwho remains one of the   strongest  supporters for the restructuring of the  country over the last four years,  He has made it clear to those  cares to listen  including Atiku, the People’s Presidential Candidate, who called on his Abuja home recently that  the ‘’restructuring of Nigeria is irreversible’’.

  But, Garba, the President’s Spokesperson would want Nigerians to believe that the APC government was not opposed to the restructuring of the country  but could only  be guided by the resolution of the National Assembly on the matter.  

He wants the people advocating for the restructuring of the country to go through the Lawmakers ,  noting that  ‘’anything outside the Parliament  are not  representative  of the will of the people’’. This is where Lawan, the Senate President,  may have to mobilise his Colleagues in the Hallowed Chamber, to tell Nigerians their position  on the restructuring of the country  to  finally put it to rest or it would remain recurring decimal in the country’s body polity.

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