Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
National leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said he knew President Muhammadu Buhari would not fall into the temptation of third term agenda.
Buhari had in his New Year letter to Nigerians, addressed concerns he wanted to change the constitution to seek a third term.
He had said: “I will be standing down in 2023 and will not be available in any future elections. But I am determined to help strengthen the electoral process both in Nigeria and across the region.”
Tinubu, who said he was in the Villa to felicitate with the president told State House Correspondents that he was ready to defend it anywhere because he knows the president has the character and integrity to reject such suggestions.
Tinubu also disclosed that any reasonable politician, who had worked with President Buhari would know he will not tamper with the Constitution to seek a third term in office.
“Distractors are always suspicious and will make accusations, but I was in the trenches and in the opposition with Muhammadu Buhari till the third term agenda of a former leader of this country failed. I know he will never. He has the courage and the character to refuse such a temptation even if offered to him. I believe in him and I believe Nigerians should also believe in him.
“He doesn’t need to say it to me; I’ll argue it in the corner and everywhere they bring such a thing up. However, it’s very good to hear it from him. I say congratulations to a man of character and integrity. The challenge of turning the ship of this nation around is a continuum and a continuous effort and that is what we should get ourselves concerned with.
“Yes, politics is intoxicating, it’s flamboyant, it’s interesting, but we cannot continue in perpetuity one after the other, we have to relax, show concern for the people of the country and see to the efforts of the President that will manifest in the new, united and prosperous country. We are still not there.”
The former Lagos governor also described those talking about 2023 as haters of the country, saying it was too early.
“The time is not now. We have just finished one election and Mr. President is busy sorting out the budget, working for the people of this country. Of course, restlessness of politics is going to be there, but any lover of this country will not talk about the succession plan yet. That’s the truth. Concentrate on working for the country, help the President to help the country. There’s nothing more than that.
“We cannot use 365 days in a year and 360 degrees to work on politics, it’s not possible. Anybody talking about that now is just completely restless and not focused on the agenda of nation building and development of our country.”
On the purpose of his visit, Tinubu said: “It’s a new decade, a visit to the leader of my country is necessary to look at things and wish him well in the office for this new decade and make some points on the stability, security and a number of issues around the country.”