Nigeria’s Buhari urges West African heads of state not to cling to power

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari urged his peers to “resist the temptation” to stay in power “beyond the constitutional provisions”, saying such attempts are likely to create instability at a time when the sub-region faces major social and economic challenges.

This was during his address to the 57th Summit of the ECOWAS held on September 7 in Niamey, Niger. “I urge us all to resist the temptation to seek to perpetuate ourselves in power beyond the constitutional provisions,” said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the Nigerian leader, these attempts are likely to plunge the sub-region into instability at a time when it is facing major socioeconomic challenges. “As things stand, the challenges facing the sub-region are enormous; from socio-economic to security issues, the ECOWAS sub-region cannot afford another political crisis,” President Buhari stressed.

“It is important that as leaders of our individual ECOWAS Member States, we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on the term of office. This is an area that generates crises and political tensions in our sub-region”.

Beyond the situation in Mali, security issues and the single currency, the issue of strengthening democracy through respect for constitutional provisions, the rule of law and the results of free and fair elections was also at the center of discussions at this ECOWAS Summit.

This year, presidential and parliamentary elections are being held in several countries in the West African sub-region, including Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, and Niger. With the declared willingness of the Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara, and the Guinean President, Alpha Condé, to each run for a third presidential term contested by their opposition.

It is easy to understand to whom this exhortation from President Muhammadu Buhari is addressed.

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