Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his open condemnation of tenure elongation amongst leaders in the West African nations.
Keyamo who tagged Buhari as ‘Quintessential statesman and continental leader” on Thursday through his social media handle reacted to Buhari’s message to ECOWAS leaders during a summit in Niger Republic on Monday where Nigeria’s President appealed to leaders not to elongate their tenure in office beyond constitutional limits.
A statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) revealed that Buhari without mincing words urged ECOWAS leaders to resist the temptation of tenure elongation.
According to him, President Buhari said, “it is important that as leaders of our individual Member-States of ECOWAS, we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits. This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region.
“As it is, the challenges facing the sub-region are enormous; from socio-economic matters to security issues, the ECOWAS sub-region cannot therefore afford another political crisis, in the guise of tenure elongation. I urge us all to resist the temptation of seeking to perpetuate ourselves in power beyond the constitutional provisions.
“I commend those in our midst that have resisted such temptations, for they will be deemed exceptional role models in their respective countries and the sub-region as a whole.
“Related to this call for restraint is the need to guarantee free, fair and credible elections. This must be the bedrock for democracy to be sustained in our sub-region, just as the need for adherence to the rule of law”, Buhari stated.
In Nigeria, apart from military regimes then, only former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has a record of plot to elongate his tenure which failed due to pressures from many quarters.
Earlier, Buhari was rumoured to have plans for tenure elongation but he instantly debunked it as handiwork of mischief-makers and made it clear that he stands on the maximum of two-terms provided in the constitution, and has no intention for it.