The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has accused the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of throwing up the idea of a third term agenda in Nigeria’s democratic space, accusing the PDP of suffering from monolithic hangover from Obasanjo’s abortive third term agenda.
Oshiomhole spoke after leading members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja. His comments came barely 24 hours after the PDP poked the president, reminding him that he had no option in 2023 than to leave office at the expiration of his second term.
Specifically, Buhari had, in his New Year message on Wednesday, promised not to contest the 2023 poll, contrary to speculations in some quarters. He had used the opportunity to distance himself from the alleged plan for a third term. Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, Oshiomhole argued that what the main opposition party allegedly started under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was still in the sub-consciousness of a lot of Nigerians.
He said: “I am surprised to see that there are people who begin to wonder why should the president reassure Nigerians that he is not going to do third term in office because it was planted by the PDP. It is still in the sub-consciousness of most Nigerians that a Nigerian president tried to do third term, emptied the treasury to bribe members of the National Assembly and since that president left, thanks to the National Assembly, no other president has done eight years in office.”
Meanwhile, PDP has cautioned the ex-labor activist to stop pushing the discourse in the public space. It counselled Oshiomhole “to desist from going to the Presidential Villa to push the impossible as such will not save him from the axe of suspension dangling over his political head or his inescapable prosecution over allegations of corruption and mismanagement of Edo State resources while he was governor of that state.”
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP noted that “such mission to the Villa, like the one Oshiomhole made today (yesterday) will also not save the APC from fizzling before 2023, as even alluded to by President Muhammadu Buhari in his apprehensions about the gloomy future of the APC.”
But Oshiomhole explained that besides Obasanjo, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan did not complete eight years as stipulated in the constitution. He went on: “You can recall that President Yar’Adua unfortunately has since joined his ancestors, and President Jonathan did six years and so by the special grace of God, this president (Buhari) will do his eight years in line with the provision of the constitution.”