Buhari: First person to seek third term didn’t end well


President Muhammadu Buhari has said he won’t seek another term in office, saying the first person who wanted to vie for third term didn’t end well.

Buhari said this on Thursday during a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, on the margins of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

According to a statement issued on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari reiterated his resolve to respect the maximum term limit in the Nigerian Constitution.

Johnson, who was not familiar with the maximum two terms limit, had asked if Buhari would run for office in 2023.

Responding, Buhari said: “Another term for me? No! The first person who tried it didn’t end very well.”

On the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, not being allowed to see his lawyers privately, the President dispelled the insinuation, saying the detained IPOB leader was being given every opportunity under the law “to justify all the uncomplimentary things he had been saying against Nigeria in Britain”.

The President added: “He felt very safe in Britain, and said awful things against Nigeria. We eventually got him when he stepped out of the United Kingdom, and we sent him to court.

“Let him defend all that he has said there. His lawyers have access to him. Remember he jumped bail before, how are we sure he won’t do it again if he’s admitted to bail?”

While speaking on the keenness expressed by Johnson to help Nigeria in the area of security, the President said helping to stabilise Libya could be an initial good step, “as the fall of Muammar Gadaffi after 42 years in power unleashed his armed guards on countries in the Sahel, and they are causing havoc everywhere, as the only thing they know how to do is to shoot guns.”

On Boko Haram insurgency, President Buhari said there was serious effort to educate the people on the fact that only an unserious person could kill innocent people, “and say Allah Akbar (God is Great). God is justice. You can’t take innocent souls, and ascribe it to God. And the education process is working, the people now understand Boko Haram as anti-God, and not about religion.”

On his part, the UK Prime Minister said he was delighted about the good news on trade between the two countries, adding that the UK was further reducing tariffs on some goods going to Nigeria.

Johnson further described the relationship between the countries as “very strong attachment”, adding: “I just want to be sure that we are doing enough. It’s a massive partnership for us, and we need to capitalise on it.”

The Prime Minister, however, condoled with Buhari on some recent attacks in Nigeria, particularly on churches.

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