Buhari retiring in 2023 is a new year gift ― Olafemi

A former Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Chief Clarance Olafemi,  has declared that the pronouncement by President Muhammadu Buhari that he would retire from politics in 2023 is a new year gift for Nigerians.

Speaking with newsmen in Lokoja on Saturday, the former Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly described the statement as a welcome development.

According to him, the recent pronouncement by the President has put to rest all agitations and also overheating of politics of the third term, stressing that he (Olafemi) has always respect President Buhari because he is very convinced that the President has the interest of Nigeria at heart.

His words, “He has been able to hold Nigeria together in the last four years. He inherited a lot of problems over Nigeria. He met Boko Haram, he met Niger Delta, he met the Benue crisis, he never invented them and non came during his tenure.

“I want to say that I congratulate him because is a president that came during turbulence. Is a president that I personally respect.

“For me, the chapter is close there is no third term for Buhari. He came at a difficult time when the economy was in shambles.

He stressed that if only Nigerians realised their potential and refused to be sentimental there is no divide among the people.

Chief Olafemi a Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state said the President will consolidate on making sure that Nigeria is together in 2020 adding that the President will make sure there is no war in the country.

“We have so many fragmented and structured in Nigeria and any attempt to spark war there will never be anything like Nigeria. His focus should be how to hand over a United Nigeria by the time he is going in 2023,” he said.

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On Kogi politics, he said he never regretted the role he played during the election stressing that his primary responsibility is to protect his people.

Olafemi opined that if the people of Okun land see him as their political leader he cannot run away from it.

“The interest of my people is that they are a minority they are smaller than the central and east in times of population but we are well blessed but there is no way we can be governor unless we partner with other senatorial districts in the state.

“I governed this state accidentally, we must rule this state as a people and if they don’t I will move my people to join either Ekiti or Kwara. If our current struggle does not work I have the capacity to move my people out of Kogi State.

“When I met the governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello he expressed his concern that my people are not with the ruling party they did not win any House of Assembly, they did not win Senate, they did not win the general election, they did not win for the president, they did not win the senatorial election. On what ground do we want to now aspire to be governor and we are from the same old Kwara and I told him that I will talk to my people and turned them around.

“To God be the glory I achieved that if I did not leave PDP I will not have achieved that. I proved to the governor that my people have moved. It is now left for him to be fair, it is now left for him to think and justified my commitment and sacrifice.

“I did not collect single Kobo from APC during the election but I can tell you 2023 is a do or die. He must make sure that come 2023 there is fairness otherwise some of us who want to retire will come back as a combatant and we would change the narrative,” he warned.

The former acting governor also noted that no senatorial district can win the election without the support of others.