Despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s clarification that he would leave office in 2023 as stipulated by the Nigerian constitution, some notable citizens of the country still believe that the president might also want to govern beyond 2023.
Nigerian Tribune reports that the belief was echoed by the Lagos-based human rights activist, Femi Falana, who said the president was secretly pursuing his third term agenda.
It was gathered that Falana told the newspaper on Friday, November 8, that Nigerians should disregard the denial, saying all moves by the president and his men pointed to tenure elongation ambition.
He accused the president of driving the opposition aground, restricting free speech, crackdown on the media, including the new media as well as perceived authoritarian moves in the areas of free trade and impunity in the conduct of state matters.
Falana also described the continued detention of activist-politician, Omoyele Sowore, despite a valid bail order from a court of competent jurisdiction, as one of the worrying reasons Nigerians should not delay in rising against the alleged fascism creeping on them.
He said: “But you heard his group demanding a third term for him and the president trying to distance himself in a very unconvincing manner. I have no doubt there is a third term agenda, because dictatorship of the kind we are witnessing now, in the past, was to one end; tenure elongation.
“He (President Buhari) is trying to cow Nigerians, but no one can successfully do that. All his recent actions are geared towards that; ruling from London, closing borders, arresting opposition and jailing journalists, are meant for him, to be the only voice in the country, it won’t be.
The lawyer said some Burkinabes, Malians, Nigerians have called him to complain of being stranded for about two months now, because the land borders were shut.
He said: “What about petrol dealers who are registered to do legitimate business. I have their registration certificates with me here. But you suddenly came up with the 20-kilometers radius of the border policy and you grounded their legitimate business.
“I am sure you know that all auto shops in the country have been shut down, on the ground that appropriate duties have not been paid on some vehicles.”
Falana said until the court stepped in, the army was going to subject Nigerians to the humiliation of self-identification, under their Positive Identification agenda, adding that all the massive violations of Nigerians’ rights and threats to cow Nigerians to subjection are designed to pave way for a third time agenda.
“You can’t say you want to conquer your people, without a sinister agenda to it. Like Abacha and IBB, before now, all we are seeing now, were the same manifestations under them; jailing journalists, charging them with treasonable felony, and their agenda for doing those things, was tenure elongation.
“Now, there is no emergency, Sowore is restricted to Abuja, Bakare (co-accused in the treason trial) is restricted to Osogbo. A very annoying order. This is an authoritarian government, they are saying we are above the law, you don’t talk of election under such an atmosphere,” he added.