President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that he would not seek a third term in office.
Speaking at the All Progressives Congress, APC, National Executive Council Meeting, NEC, in Abuja, on Friday, Buhari said he would adhere strictly to the Constitution which stipulates a maximum of two terms.
“I’m not going to make the mistake of attempting a third term. Besides age factor, I swore by the Holy Book that I will go by the Constitution and the Constitution says only two terms are available.
“I know that I’m in my last term and I can’t afford to be reckless, I’m not going to ask for anybody’s vote,” the President said.
He advised the NEC members to be conversant with the Constitution in order to avoid factors that made the party loss election in some states.
“I want you to read the constitution. I made sure that when the constitution says the election, as we did it the last time, will start in 18 months time or 20 months time, it was followed strictly,” he said.
He further advised members to respect their constituents adding that anyone who failed to maintain the respect of his constituents and loses election is on his own.
“But to me, the most important is that every member of NEC should reposition him or herself to make sure that he has dominated his constituency politically.
“The aim is that, as I mentioned yesterday, history will not be fair to us if the APC collapses at the end of this term.
“History will be fair to us, if the APC remains strong and not only holds the center but makes gains. People will reflect with nostalgia that once upon a time, the builders of APC made lots of sacrifices, worked very hard.
“The sacrifices are physical, material and moral to make sure that we maintain the leadership politically.
“What happened in imo, Bauchi, Sokoto, Zamfara is really unfortunate. I will like you in your constituencies to make sure that you read the Constitution of the party and understand it and stick to it.
“NEC members must make sure that people elected are responsible from polling units to wards, local governments, states in their respective constituencies.
“This is the only way we can make this party survive, this is the only way history will be kind to us that we have led with absolute concern for the country and for the people.
“If for any other reason, you divide the party, at any constituency and it causes failure, then be prepared that history will not recognise you as a leader at any level at anytime,” Buhari stressed.
Earlier, the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, while reviewing the party’s performance in the last general elections, said its loss to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in some states was due to internal crises.
“Mr. President, I have chosen to amplify where we lost but we also made some gains that are quite understanding.
He cited Kwara and Gombe States as the place were the party made gains.
Present at the meeting were: former interim National Chairman of APC, Bisi Akande, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Others were Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wade, Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, Deputy Senate Leader, Prof. Ajayi Borrofice, Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu and Deputy Senate Whip, Sabi Abdullahi.
Also in attendance were governors of Nasarawa, Abdullahi Sule, Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, Borno, Babagana Zulum, Kogi, Yahaya Bello, Katsina, Aminu Masari, Edo, Godwin Obaseki, Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi, Jigawa, Abubakar Badaru and others.