NIGERIA’S ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has promised to expel its member Charles Enya who has initiated legal action to get the constitution changed so that President Muhammadu Buhari and its governors can seek a third term in office.
Nigeria’s constitution only allows the president and governors to serve a maximum of two four-year terms and first elected in 2015, President Buhari is mandated to leave office by 2023. Over recent weeks, however, there have been rumours that the members of the president’s kitchen cabinet are working on plans to alter the constitution and allow him stand for a third term.
Last week, Mr Enya, a member of the APC in Ebonyi State, initiated legal proceedings to get the constitution changed so President Buhari and the governors could stand again in 2023. However, President Buhari himself has come out to distance himself from the move, saying he will leave office when his tenure ends.
This week, the APC’s leadership has also distanced itself from the third term agenda, saying Mr Enya’s action was mostly sponsored by the desperate and misguided opposition. It threatened to expel Mr Enya and other anti-democratic forces and charlatans.
Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC’s publicity secretary, said: “The All Progressives Congress has read in the media about a purported legal action taken by a self-proclaimed member of the party, Charles Enya, seeking an amendment of the constitution to allow President Muhammadu Buhari run for a third term in office. The party had initially chosen to ignore him, however, it has become important to send a clear message to him and such other agent provocateurs.
“At the last national executive committee meeting of the party, President Buhari didn’t mince words and he is not the type that talks tongue in cheek. He pointedly said he would abide by the constitution and uphold the oath of office he took, swearing by the holy book he believes in.
“This is he said was besides his advanced age which made such an idea beyond his contemplation. We would follow this new enemy of our country, who is most likely being sponsored by the desperate and misguided opposition, every step of the way, using all legal means to thwart his devilish efforts to create chaos in our country.”
He added that the APC has tried to find out the status of Mr Enya claiming to be a member of their party and if he turns out to be a member, they would ensure the party organ that has the responsibility to act on the matter promptly commences the process of expelling him. According to Mr Issa-Onilu, the APC is a progressive party and does not have space for anti-democratic forces and charlatans.