Don't stay in office beyond your tenure - Buhari cautions West African leaders

The President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari urges West African leaders not to stay in office beyond teior tenure or constitutional limits
Emeh Joy

The President of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has warned leaders of the Economic Community of West African States to desist from overstaying the constitutional limits of their tenure.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President made this call while he was presenting Nigeria's General Statement at the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey, Niger Republic.

The statement was titled, "President Buhari Urges ECOWAS Leaders to Resist Temptation of Tenure Elongation".

The president who resumed office for his first tenure in 2015 and whose second tenure resumed in 2019, to end in four years (2023) urged his fellow leaders to respect the constitution and also ensure free and fair elections.

the statement which quoted the president read in part:

"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 generate crisis and political tension in our sub-region.

President Buhari with other West African leaders during the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey, Niger Republic

"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 provision.

"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".

The president also spoke regarding the political situation in Mali and said Nigeria remains committed to the decision of ECOWAS for a civilian-led transition government not exceeding 12 months.

He also commended the leadership of the ECOWAS Commission, the Chief Mediator, in the person of the former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, the President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou as well as the outgoing Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State "for effectively demonstrating commitment in handling the political situation in that country".

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