Third term agenda: Afenifere warns Buhari, lawmakers against unholy alliance

The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Tuesday,  cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against pushing for a third term agenda, describing the moves as an unholy agenda.

The group stated this in Akure,  Ondo state capital, after its monthly meeting held at the residence of Pa Reuben Fasoranti, said the sinister moves to ensure President Buhari remains in power beyond 2023 will be resisted, urging him to perish such moves.

The group noted the plans by some individuals pushing for the President Buhari third term agenda and the President body language pointed to the fact that the unconstitutional third term agenda is being pushed for public discourse.

Reading the communique of the group,  the Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Yinka Odumakin, urged those behind the moves to perish the agenda and said the group took the declaration of Buhari against the  third term agenda “with a pinch of salt”

Odumakin said “Afenifere took serious note of the rumoured plans to subvert the Constitution of Nigeria to allow  President Buhari to have a third term in office which started with an APC Senatorial Candidate in Bauchi last year during a bye-election declaring that he was coming to the Senate to work for a third term for Buhari.

“This was followed by the President who has a maximum of possible 8 years in office telling the country he was going to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.

“To douse the tension the rumoured plot is generating the President made a denial a few days ago which  we took with a pinch of salt because it is not the first time politicians would pursue what they are denying in Nigeria swearing with Allah or God.”

The group recalled in the communique that “We have not forgotten that General Buhari told this country in 2011 that he would do only one term if he became President. He is now on a second term.

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“He also promised Nigerians in 2015 that he would not have the office of the First Lady as President. He was mute when the wife issued an order that she must be addressed as First Lady and he has gone ahead to appoint six aides for the office”

The group warned lawmakers against the moves to smuggle the third term agenda into the nation’s constitution to give backing to Buhari’s continued stay in office.

The communique read in part:  “Meeting also observed that the reason given for the President for not thinking of a third is the Constitutional limit of two terms without talking about what he would do if that hindrance was removed.

“With the National Assembly in the pocket, the only hurdle left to change that provision would be two-thirds of Houses of Assembly and we have seen the President holding a meeting of 36 Speakers.

“And shortly after this meeting, an APC member in Ebonyi State has approached a Federal High Court to compel the National Assembly to remove the constitutional impediments against the third term for President and Governors.

“We have seen this fire before for this smoke not to be strange to us.

Afenifere, therefore, calls on Nigerians to be vigilant and thwart any attempt to take the country for a ride once again.

They, however, advised the President  “to use his last term in office to create legacies that will place him on the good pages of history, including setting Nigeria on a Federal path that will allow the constituent units of Nigeria to develop and maximise path instead of pursuing any ruinous agenda.

Speaking on hate speech, “Meeting also reviewed the ongoing gag bill being debated by the Senate called ‘Hate Speech Bill”, Meeting was miffed that in the midst of all the challenges facing Nigerians, the Senate would be concerned with a law to hang people for exercising their freedom of speech and airing views those in power may not like.

“The attempt to take away the freedom of expression earned through the sweat and blood of patriots is not only wicked but portrays us as a barbaric polity that operates by tenets of the jungle.

Meeting called on Nigerians not to succumb to this totalitarian agenda. All countries that cherish freedom of speech are called upon to shut their borders against all Senators who have spoken in favour of the bill to protect the right of man to air his view without prejudice to the laws of libel.

Afenifere also frowned over the non-challant attitude of the police over the unresolved murder of the daughter of the leader of the Afenifere group,  Mrs Funke Olakurin and lamented that “human life has become so cheap and unworthy in Nigeria that over four months after the murder in broad daylight of the daughter of our Leader, Mrs Funke  Olakunrin, the police has not found any clue about the perpetrators of the dastardly act and  has not given any brief to the family.

“We are left with no option than to conclude at this stage that the death of Mrs Olakunrin is a political assassination given the non-challant attitude of the police.

“This widespread disregard for the sanctity of human life is worrisome as we saw even women dancing all over Kogi singing “ta ta ta ta” during the recent election with people’s lives wasted with impunity.

“The dastardly act of  burning to death of Mrs Salome Abuh even after that declaration of a winner attests to the promotion of culture of violence.

“Meeting insisted that any country that fails to get the perpetrators of these murders and their types to face the law has its hands soaked in blood with its consequences”

On the Appeal Court verdict on Oyo gubernatorial election,  Afenifere said “the meeting reviewed the recent ruling of the Appeal Court on the Oyo gubernatorial election and was at a loss as to the jurisprudential anarchy daily unfolding in our judicial system.

“That one decision of court confused even the media for the next 48 hours is a challenge to our judiciary to always try and make itself clear to the ordinary people.

It is our hope that the Supreme Court to which the parties have now headed will resolve the matter in the interest of justice and the integrity of the justice system. We do not want any upheaval in the city that has a history behind it.

Congratulating the publisher of Nigerian Tribune at 70, the group stated that “the newspaper has survived 70  years in a country whose graveyard has a section for failed publications is a testimony to its foundation of truth and integrity.

We pray for the continued survival of the paper without departure from the dreams of its founder.

“We salute Nigerian Tribune at 70 and the meeting salutes the newspaper for the commissioning of a befitting edifice in Isheri to mark the 70th anniversary of the resilient paper founded by our leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Present at the meeting include, the deputy chairman of the group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Secretary, Basorun Seinde Arogbofa, the Organising Secretary, Akogun Kole Omololu, Chief Femi Okunronmu and Chief Dayo Duyile amongst others.

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