Buhari’s New Year assurance: PDP planted third term syndrome ― Oshiomhole
Following the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to lay speculation to rest about the possible elongation of his tenure, the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has blamed the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for planting the ‘third term syndrome’ in the country.
Against move in some quarters to encourage him to extend his term, the president, in his New Year message, had reassured that the would not stay in office beyond 2023 when his present tenure ends.
Oshiomhole has now stated that it was necessary for Buhari to give the assurance to Nigerians because of the experience with the PDP under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Following the president’s remark, the PDP had told him that he had no option but to leave the office with his party at the end of his current term in office.
Speaking to State House correspondents after leading some members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to a meeting with President Buhari on Thursday, Oshiomhole expressed surprise that people were questioning the president’s reassurance in the New Year message.
He said: “I think that is what the President’s new year message sought to do. 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 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 eight years in office.
“You can recall that President (Umaru Musa) 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) whom 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.
“And 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.”
On the pressure on him to resign as the party boss, Oshiomhole maintained that the APC has made good progress under his leadership.
He cited the string of victories recorded by the party at recent elections and challenged those who think otherwise to contradict his claim.
He added: “You also know this proverb, ‘It’s a tree that bears fruits that attracts stone.’ You hardly see people throwing stones at a dry tree palm tree.
“But if you see a mango tree when it is its season, people throw stones at it when passing. I think that is my lot but my report card is also very very clear.”
While appealing to the media to evaluate his performance based on the results from elections, he maintained: “In my own case, and I challenge anyone to say that any of these things are not true, we the executive members of the party were sworn in on the 3rd of June 2018, at about 6 pm.
“Two weeks later, we went to Ekiti to contest election against a PDP incumbent governor Fayose and we won. And Kayode Fayemi today is the governor of that state.
“Few months later, we went to Osun State, we contested a by-election, we won and we had the Osun State governor elected for his first term.
“Then we went for the national elections, you know all the tensions in the country at the time, the gap between President Buhari and the former candidate of the PDP Abubakar Atiku was about four million voters.
“The one between President Buhari and former President Jonathan in 2015 was about three million. So, under my leadership, this President has more votes than the first runner-up.
“We would like to claim credit for that because if it went the other way so we would be crucified.”