The Presidency and Peoples Democratic Party have taken to battle of words over who succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, with both divide playing down each others chance during the electoral excercise that was expected to usher in new administration after the current president’s tenure elapse in 2023.
While the presidency asked the main opposition party to jettison its alleged campaign of calumny and embrace its rejection and transition to yesterday’s platform in Nigeria, the PDP argued that by insisting Buhari would choose his successor, the presidency was secretely nursing third term for the president.
The president’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, noted that it was important for the PDP to stop dreaming of reforming itself and staging a dramatic comeback in 2023, adding that it would only suffer a fatal rejection from majority of Nigerians across the country.
He added that rather than choose the PDP, the Nigerian masses would still reckon with Buhari and stick with his decision irrespective of religious and ethnic differences, a situation he said, played out during 2015 and 2019 elections that produced the president as winner.
Speaking shortly after observing the Eid-El-kabir prayers in Daura, Katsina State, on Tuesday, the presidential spokesperson said Nigerians know too well and understand the antics of the opposition and shown during their 16 years rule and would not allow another party take over in 2023.
According to him, the president enjoys unshakable support not only in his hometown but also across the country and it is enough for the opposition to admit that the President matters a lot for the ruling party and Nigerians in general.
“Again, he constitutes a political obstacle they cannot dismantle come 2023. We believe the PDP and other opposition parties are nursing false hopes of taking power comes 2023.
“The masses will never abandon President Buhari’s leadership and the APC. I assure you that in 2023, the masses will be waiting for the President to show the way in courtesy of what he has been building for the country in terms of infrastructure and wellbeing of young people in the country. Nobody will take the risk by inviting another party to come and take over in 2023.”
But countering Shehu’s submission, the PDP claimed that Shehu’s assertion that Nigerians would be waiting for Buhari “to show the way in 2023” has further heightened public apprehensions of self-succession plot by the presidency’s alleged cabal.
It stated that the statement credited to the presidential spokesperson was not only provocative but also smacks of plots to derail constitutional democratic order in Nigeria.
PDP, through a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the comment by the Buhari presidency explains why there have been heavy onslaught against institutions of democracy as well as the Electoral Act.
According to him, our party and indeed the majority of Nigerian across board and even across party lines caution president Buhari’s handlers to note that such plots cannot stand as it will be firmly resisted by the people.
“Shehu Garba should be bold enough to announce that President Buhari will be on the ballot for another term in 2023 and watch how Nigerians will respond. The 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear on the tenure of office of the President and such cannot be extended under any guise or conditions whatsoever.
It is imperative for Shehu Garba to note that Nigerians have been subjected to the worst forms of hardship under the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration and will never allow anything that will keep this administration in office a day beyond May 29, 2023.”