President Muhammadu Buhari has promised not to elongate hia tenure, saying he will leave office in 2023.
A statement by the Senior Special Assitant to the President, Garba Shehu, said Buhari stated this in Makkah on Friday, during a meeting with select group of Nigerians resident in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“I swore by the Holy Qur’an that I will serve in accordance with the constitution and leave when my time is up. No “Tazarce’’ (tenure extension). I don’t want anybody to start talking about and campaigning for unconstitutional extension. I will not accept that,” Buhari said.
The president also expressed support for efforts geared towards increasing the role of technology in the country’s elections, arguing that the introduction of the card reader and electronic register was God’s answer to his prayers, having been cheated of his victory on three previous occasions.
“After the third so-called defeat, I said, ‘God Dey’. My opponents laughed at me but God answered my prayers by bringing in technology. At that point, nobody can steal their votes or buy them,” the president said.
Buhari, who ended his visit to the Kingdom with the Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, said he will continue to abide by the constitution in all its ramifications and he will at all times supervise and deal with his ministers on same basis.
He gave assurances that “in the balance of eighteen months or so of my time left, whatever I can do to improve the life of Nigerians, I will do it for the country.”
The president commended diaspora Nigerians in the Saudi Arabia for representing the country well and projecting its good image.
He also used the opportunity to urge citizens at home to be fair to his administration at all times, asking the critics to compare the security situations in the North East and South South in 2015 and how things have improved as at now.
“My problem is the North West where people are killing and stealing from one another. I had to be very hard on them and I will continue to be very hard until we put them in line and bring back order,” he said.
Buhari urged Nigerians living in Saudi Arabia to respect the laws, remain law-abiding and do nothing to derogate from the many years of friendly and mutually beneficial relationships between the two countries.
A leader of the community, Abdulkadir Maikudi, who spoke on behalf of the group, asked Buhari to assist the privately-run Nigerian International School in the Kingdom by equipping it, in order to provide science and technical education.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Yahaya Lawal, and the Consul-General in Jeddah, Abdulkarim Mansur, attested to the good conduct of the nearly 1.5 million Nigerians living in the Kingdom.
According to the duo, “Nigerian professionals are doing well and projecting a good image of our country.”