Opinion

Third Term Agenda: The Power of Speaking Tongue in Cheek

By Eric Elezuo

At the opening of the of the National Executive Council meeting of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari finally ended his silence on the much talk about third term agenda, which not a few Nigerians have allegedly accused the President of harbouring.

Laying to rest the thoughts of doubting Thomases, Buhari said that he would not make the mistake of attempting a third term in office, adding that apart from age, he was limited by the two terms stated in the constitution.

“I’m not going to make the mistake of attempting a third term. Besides the age, the constitution makes provision for only two terms,” he said.

But to the follower of Nigerian history, and more especially the student of ‘Buhariology’, the utterance or rather proclamation sounds very familiar, and one wonders if the President is not speaking tongue in cheek like he had always done.

Recall that in 2011, after losing the election to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Buhari publicly proclaimed that he would never run for the office of the president again. But he ran again in 2015. Yes, he may have been invited to run by powers that promised him victory, but he failed to keep his words.

Again, it is on record that Buhari also craved for one term in office, also citing age as his main discouragement, but he threw caution to the wind and sought a second term in office which he won, using apparatchiks at his disposal according to a cross section of Nigerians.

In recent times, Nigerians wake to various policies and acts that make them wonder if it was actually the same Buhari who promised so much prior to becoming president who is seated at the seat of power (no pun intended). If we consider that the promise of making one dollar exchange for one naira is still a pipe dream, then one will wonder if the promise not to go third term will see the light of the day. How about the promise to convert the national fleet into the much sought after ‘Nigeria Airways’ and add addition aircraft as the years roll by? Has it been fulfilled almost five years after, or is there in sight to actually fulfill it.

Oh, we forget about and incessant medical pilgrimages. President Buhari has remained the biggest culprit of his own promises, the biggest breaker of his own pronouncements. How possible will it be for Nigerians to trust him regarding his denial of the third term agenda.

A scary insight into the third term jingle reveals that most of the policies and proposals of the government have a life span exceeding its time, even as the government as it stands seems not to have  veritable opposition in terms of political parties or institutions. Nigerians, behaving more like a conquered state, or to borrow the language of the ancient empires, a vassal state, seem to lack the energy and willpower to fight anymore, as a result, Buhari will surely get what he desires.

Well, was it not the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan who said, only recently that any request brought to the Senate by Buhari will receive express approval. Not wonder it took less than two months to pass the Finance Bill into law as anti-people it is. And was not Justice Tanko Mohammed, who declared that certificates are not necessary for contesting elections and that ‘technicalities’ take precedence over facts.

Now tell me, was the President not speaking tongue in cheek when he denounced the third term agenda?

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