The Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Tuesday urged Nigerians to be vigilant following the growing rumour of a third term plot for President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari had on Saturday ruled out the possibility of seeking a third term in office, saying age and constitutional limit of two-term make it virtually impossible for him to seek a third term in office
The group also took a swipe at the Senate for focusing too much on the hate speech bill.
The group in a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting in Akure, Ondo State and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, noted that the meeting took note of the rumoured plans to subvert the constitution to allow President Buhari to have a third term in office.
According to Afenifere, the plot started last year when an All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the senatorial bye-election in Bauchi declared that he was coming to the Senate to work for a third term for Buhari.
The communiqué read: “This was followed by the president who has a maximum of possible eight years in the office telling the country he was going to lift 100million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 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/God.
“We have not forgotten that Gen. Buhari told this country in 2011 that he would do only one term if he became President.
“He is now on a second term. 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 6 aides for the office.”
Afenifere said it observed that the reason given by the president for not thinking of a third term 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 third term for president and governors,” the group reason.
“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.
“We advise 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.”
On the hate speech bill, Afenifere said it was surprised that in the face of all the challenges facing Nigerians, the Senate would devote its time to debate a law tailored 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,” the group concluded.
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