- Insists Buhari’s persistent reassurance against tenure elongation strategic
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, Thursday in Abuja dismissed condemnations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s repeated denials of third term agenda, saying it was necessary because a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president once emptied the treasury to pursue third term.
Answering questions from State House reporters after leading members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party on a new year visit to the president, Oshiomhole said contrary to the criticism of Buhari’s new year message which reassured Nigerians that he would not seek a third term in office, such a repeated denial was necessary because the earlier attempt by a former president to do a third term still remains in the sub-conscious of Nigerians.
He said against this backdrop, it is necessary for the president to continually reassure Nigerians that he would not repeat the misadventure of a former president.
“I think that is what the president’s new year message sought to do, and I am surprised to see that there are people who begin to wonder why should the president reassure Nigerians that he is not going to do third term in office because third term was planted by PDP – Peoples Democratic Party.
“It is still in the sub-conscious of most Nigerians that the first Nigerian President that tried to do third term, emptied the treasury to bribe members of the National Assembly and since that president left, thanks to the National Assembly, no other next president has done eight years in office.
“You can recall that President (Umaru) Yar’Adua unfortunately has since joined his ancestors, and President Goodluck Jonathan did six years and so, by the special grace of God, this president (Buhari), we pray, will do his eight years in line with the provision of the constitution, and because there is a level of idleness within a section of the political class, people can sponsor all kinds of publications to give doubt on whether or not the president is planning to stay longer.
“I think it is his decision that at every interval, he needs to remind Nigerians that he is not about to do what a PDP president did. For me, it is necessary and in any case, it costs us nothing to reassure us that I am leaving,” he said.
Oshiomhole also reacted to persistent calls from his party for his resignation, saying no matter how well someone may perform in office, some people will still be dissatisfied.
Dismissing such calls as unnecessary, Oshiomhole chronicled what he claimed to be his achievements since he assumed office as the party leader, saying as some people in his party are calling for his ouster despite records of election victories, some others are ironically accusing the National Chairman of the PDP of losing out in every election since he assumed office.
He said: “So, in every aspect of life, you will have supporters, you will have opponents. Even God our creator, even those that He created in heaven and earth, haven’t you seen people lamenting that ‘how can God give me this little and give this man so much?’ even as we are encouraged not to be jealous.
“So, yes, there are people who canvassed those views and there are also those who think that yes, APC has not done badly. Of course, we have performed creditably well if you ask me. You must have also read ironically, people say that under the chairmanship of my brother, Mr. Secondus, PDP appears to have been missing every election and that they want him out.
“I think there was somebody who wrote something in Kano that while APC gave financial support to (we gave financial support from our own resources) its candidates, PDP doesn’t give a kobo to any of their candidates. But we did it for the first time. We didn’t do it in 2015. I can point to a lot of innovations that we have brought on board. But as they say, the reward for hard work is even more work.
“Those who are determined to criticise you, don’t ever deceive yourself that even if you have done well, they will stop. But I think for me, that is an incentive to recognise that we must continue to think creatively and see to it that we are able to manage the party. I am very confident that our party is stronger today than it was before I became the chairman.”