Lawan: Two Terms in Office Enough for the President

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Ahmad Lawan

Cautions govt officials against misleading Buhari on bills awaiting assent

By Deji Elumoye and Udora Orizu

President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan has stressed that he was not in support of unlimited term of office for President Muhammadu Buhari, saying he stood by the constitutional two-term limit for the President.

Lawan has also warned top federal ministry officials against misadvising Buhari on bills passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to him for his assent.

In a purported tweet, the Senate President was quoted as saying he would not mind a constitutional amendment to allow unlimited term of office for Buhari if he wished to remain in office beyond 2023.

But Lawan, in a statement yesterday denied ever making such statement, before or after 2019,

stressing that he stood firmly by provision of the constitution and appealed to members of the public to ignore the old fabricated statement mischievously being circulated by mischief makers.

The statement reads, ‘’The Office of the President of the Senate has noted a tweet by one Cmr Mayor attributing a fabricated statement to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan. Our initial reaction was to ignore the ignoble mischief especially since it is not new, having been posted two years ago on 27 March 2019. But because the tweet has been trending again on social media, it becomes necessary to issue a formal rebuttal of its purport.

‘’The old tweet which was entirely the handiwork of mischief makers is now being circulated again on social media by purveyors of fake news. The 1999 Constitution has a firm position on the tenure of the President that reflects the popular stand of Nigerians. Section 137(1)b states as follow: A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if (b) he has been elected to such Office at any two previous elections.

Meanwhile, Lawan has warned top federal ministry officials against misadvising Buhari on bills passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to him for his assent.

This is just as he flayed the absence of the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora, at the public hearing on three health-related bills.

Lawan handed down the warning at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Health on three bills presently before the Upper Chamber.

The bills are: A bill for an Act to Amend the Orthopedic Management Board Act No 91, 1979 and for other related matters and to provide for the establishment of Federal Orthopedic Hospital KUTA, Bill 2021 (SB. 279); the National University of Health and Medical Sciences Suleja (establishment etc (SB. 633); and Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Abeokuta, Ogun State (establishment etc) Bill 2021 (SB. 26).

According to the Senate President, some ministry officials had made it their business to frustrate bills passed by the National Assembly by ensuring they were denied presidential assent.

Lawan expressed concern over the absence of Ehanire, Mamora, and other ministry officials during the public hearing on the bills.

He underscored the need for representatives of the executive arm of government to be present at such hearings, noting that doing so would avail them the opportunity of making their input in light of whatever reservations they may have on a bill under consideration.