National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has declared that the speculation of President Muhammadu Buhari wanting a third term in office after 2023 was the handiwork of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Thursday after holding a closed-door meeting with Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa, the APC boss said it was okay for the President to have used the New Year message to remind Nigerians that he would stand down after two terms in 2023.
Oshiomhole recalled that a PDP President (Olusegun Obasanjo) was the first to be associated with a third term agenda, but that Buhari harbours no such idea, although he will be the first civilian president to complete his two four-year terms.
“I am surprised to see that there are people who begin to wonder why should the President reassure Nigerians that he is not going to do Third Term in office because Third Term was planted by PDP.
“It is still in the sub-consciousness of most Nigerians that the first (sic) Nigerian President tried to do Third Term, emptied the treasury to bribe members of the National Assembly and since that President left, thanks to the National Assembly, no other next President has done 8 years in office.
“You can recall that President Yar’Adua, unfortunately, has since joined his ancestors, and President Jonathan did six years and so by the special grace of God, this President (Buhari), we pray, will do his eight years complete in line with the provision of the constitution.
“And because there is a level of idleness within a section of the political class, people can sponsor all kinds of publications and to give doubt whether or not the President is planning to stay longer.
“I think it is his decision that at every interval he needs to remind Nigerians that he is not about to do what a PDP President did. For me it is necessary and in any case it costs us nothing to reassure us that ‘I am leaving’.”
Asked about the agitation for his resignation concerning his feud with his State Governor, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, and other reasons, Oshiomhole replied that the string of victories recorded by APC since he assumed office were enough testimony of the right leadership provided by the party’s National Working Committee which he heads.
He recalled the APC successes at the national elections, which returned Buhari to power, gave the party the headship of the National Assembly, and subsequent governorship elections in Ekiti, Osun, Kogi, Bayelsa, Ondo and Osun States.
On his plans for the APC in this New Year after a rancorous 2019, the party chairman said: “Going forward in 2020, there are things we have ironed out I don’t need to share all of them, that we are going to do differently, to ensure that we take into account all the mistakes we made in 2019 so that in 2020 APC will be more stronger, more coherent, more peaceful.
“But don’t make mistake, there will always be some internal discontent because we are talking of 774 local governments and in each of these local governments you have activist pacifists, horses and dogs, all within the same family so they are bound to happen; but what matters is our capacity to talk through them and have them resolved.