. Inaugurates Ekiti Campaign Council.

Says, ‘don’t come back crying’

Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

Amid the backlash generated by recent reports quoting a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Chief Robert Clarke as calling for a tenure extension for President Muhammadu Buhari, the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has declared that the president will serve out his term and vacate the presidential villa as stipulated by law.

This was as the party on Monday inaugurated its 61-member Ekiti state Governorship Campaign Council with an order to the council to ensure victory for the party and not to come back crying after the election.

Clarke had in a television interview monitored in Abuja some days ago declared as erroneous, the belief that the President cannot stay in office for more than eight years.

“If the situation in which we are in now continues and it is impossible to vote in the 2023 election, the constitution says the President will inform the INEC.

“In view of all insurgencies, kidnappings, Boko Haram, I don’t think in these different areas of Nigeria, we can have a good election. I don’t see how what is happening today can be stopped within six months from today or before February next year when the elections will be held,” Mr Clarke had said.

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However, speaking while inaugurating the council, the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu dismissed concerns about any planned tenure elongation, urging the council to deliver Ekiti to the president as one of his parting gifts.

He said; “President Muhammadu Buhari is at the beginning of his trip out of the Presidential Villa. He made no secret of it. He is a man of honour, he seeks no extension. He made it public in this very hall that used to be our National Executive Committee NEC meeting hall. He said it that he has been elected for a second time. He is under oath as president to protect and preserve the Nigerian Constitution.

“The Nigerian Constitution has given him two terms of four years each. He has started his second term and at the end of it, he does not intend to, and will not ask for anybody to ask for a third term or any elongation of tenure.

“Recently, he made the same pronouncement sometimes early this year. So, we are on a boat like him to see that he has a soft landing and that is to deliver this party to victory and Ekiti State is the first test.

“So, he takes this election very seriously. We would try to do as much as possible, we will be guided by the rules of engagement for elections, we will observe every rule, every guideline and we do hope that those who will be responsible for overseeing the compliance will be fair arbiters, will be fair referees, will be fair umpires.

“It is our hope and prayer that God Almighty will be with us, will guide us, will ensure that victory is ours”.

He said Ekiti is the first election that the new National Working Committee NWC will be overseeing, noting that once there is a contest, there will be a winner and a loser, but that the APC will never be on the losing side.

“We don’t take that for granted. We are going to work as hard as we can to ensure that we deliver our gubernatorial candidate as the next Governor of Ekiti State.

“As we inaugurate this Committee, I have one thing in the marching order of this party and that is, don’t come home crying, don’t come home crying. If there is a cry, let them (opposition) go and cry for their principals, not us”, he directed.

Chairman of the council and Kebbi state Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu who recalled that about four years ago he had served in the same capacity said it is even now easier to secure victory as the APC is no longer in the opposition in the state.

“The committee members, Mr Chairman, you mentioned to me privately, why we have so many members in the campaign council and I agreed with you, particularly, Mr Chairman when some people do not appreciate the importance attached to this assignment. 

“This assignment should be acknowledged by all party members because we are only important when we are in power and we know Mr Chairman said we should not come back to complain. We could recall hilariously, Mr Chairman, the 2018 election in Ekiti state was an election in which stomach infrastructure was thrown at us in which someone broke his neck. Well, that is what was said officially all in an attempt to run away from the hard work of the NWC and the Campaign Council in ensuring that we could win Ekiti state. 

“Now we are even more competent because, in the last four years, Governor Kayode Fayemi has done a lot to ensure that Ekiti remains a progressive state.

Earlier, National Organizing Secretary of the party, Sulaiman Argungu recalled how the party had conducted a rancour-free Governorship Primary Election where Mr.l Biodun Oyebanji emerged as the Ekiti State Gubernatorial Candidate “without any of the aspirants sustaining any sorts of action against his triumph at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal nor at any court of law for that matter”.

Vanguard News Nigeria


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