Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders not to elongate their tenure in office beyond constitutional limits.
In addition to the call for restraint, Buhari also demanded that they guarantee free, fair and credible elections.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari made the call while presenting Nigeria’s General Statement at the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey, Niger Republic, yesterday.
The President urged his colleagues to respect constitutional provisions and ensure free and fair elections.
Said Buhari: “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.”