Former Governor of Ogun State and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief Olusegun Osoba has said President Muhammadu Buhari has not indicated any intention to stay in office beyond May 2023 but if he did, he said, it would be resisted.
This was said at the public presentation of two new books titled: President Buhari’s Distinctive Legacies to Nigeria and Further Thoughts on the Nigerian Constitution and Polity authored by Professor Ben Nwabueze held on Thursday at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Lagos.
At the launch, a politician, Buba Galadima had earlier raised concern about moves by the National Assembly to amend the country’s constitution to favour the third term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also alleged that the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan had also declared his support for Mr President’s ambition, which include life presidency.
He said, “Nigerians have entered a one chance bus with President Muhammadu Buhari. The country is on auto-pilot. We don’t know where they are taking us. Either they are taking us to the beach or to the mouth of the tiger.”
Responding to the concerns raised by Galadima, Osoba said “President Buhari has not indicated any interest to go beyond 2023 in office. When the issue of third term arose during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, Galadima and myself were part of those that resisted it.
Even President Buhari was part of the struggle too. If you (referring to Galadima) and I fought to resist the third term then, I don’t think there is nothing to worry about now.
The President has not indicated his interest to go for third term in office but when the signal is given, Bub, call me, we would repeat what we did during Obasanjo’s tenure.
I, therefore, want to plead to everyone, let us not narrow our challenges to individuals. When we were forming merger in APC, Buba was part of the synergy. Therefore, he is part of us in APC whether he likes it or not.
We negotiated true federalism. It is in our manifestoes. True federalism is the devolution of powers. You can call it restructuring. It is in the manifestoes of APC.”
In his speech at the book launch, Prof. Ben Uwabueze laments that the country has been retrogressing since independence.
While calling for a government of national unity as an alternative to the current administration, the senior constitutional lawyer said, “It is a great lamentation for me that the Nigeria we knew in 1960 would turn to this after sixty years of independence.
“Nigeria must be saved. We must resolve to do everything within our powers to save this country.
“With the way things are, I am moved to tears. Chief Osoba, I am asking you to do something about this because you belong to the ruling party.
“As a journalist and a patriotic Nigerian, I am charging you as your former teacher to help save our dear country for the barrage of challenges confronting it.
“Nigerians are no longer deceived by the rhetoric of overwhelming mandate given to President Buhari in the last general election. It is obvious the country is in dire need of restoration.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s blunt refusal to resign which is accompanied by the equally blunt refusal to change the service chiefs, raises the issue as to what alternative is left for Nigerian people in order to save themselves from the scourge of insecurity that threatens them with ruination.
“I venture to suggest that a government of National Unity composed of the candidates of the political parties, with significant votes at the February 2019 presidential election, and headed by a person chosen by them, maybe the alternative for us. The details of such an arrangement will need to be worked out and will require compromises on all sides.”
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