Despite public denial, Nigeria’s leading rights advocate and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, is certain President Muhammadu Buhari is working towards illegally elongating his stay in office, Saturday Tribune reports.
A pro-Buhari group recently called for an extension of the president’s tenure beyond the constitutional limit of 2023.
The Nigerian leader demurred, saying he would be retiring to Daura, his hometown, after his second term in office.
Speaking to Saturday Tribune on Friday, Falana asked Nigerians to disregard the denial, saying all moves by the president and his men point to tenure elongation ambition.
He listed the current alleged efforts at driving the opposition aground, alleged assault on 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, as known tell-tale signs of tenure elongation agenda.
Falana cited the continued incarceration 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.
“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.
“Burkinabes, Malians, Nigerians have called me to complain of being stranded for about two months now, because the land borders are shut. They are stranded with tons of plastic materials, bought from plastic manufactured by Nigerians, in Nigeria.