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Buhari cautions African leaders against tenure elongation

By Idowu Abdullahi,

Worried by the political crisis in some African countries, President Muhammadu Buhari, has cautioned African leaders, particularly those of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against the temptation of elongating their tenure in office beyond approved constitutional limits.

He explained that the call had become imperative following the enormous challenges facing the sub-regional states and African countries, stressing that there was a need for leaders to adhere to constitutional guarantee tenures in respective countries.

Addressing the African leaders during the 57th ECOWAS Summit in Niamey, capital of Niger on Monday, Buhari noted that the need to prevent political crises arising from such futile endeavors cannot be overemphasized.

Through a statement from his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari, who regretted the ensuing political crisis Mali, maintained that despite the situation, only constitutional government was the way forward for development.

“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,” the statement quoted Buhari as saying.

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