Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that he will vacate office come 2023.
He gave the assurance in a New Year letter to Nigerians.
“I will be standing down in 2023 and will not be available in any future elections,” the president wrote.
“But I am determined to help strengthen the electoral process both in Nigeria and across the region, where several ECOWAS members go to the polls this year,” he added.
Mr Buhari’s clarification comes amidst fears by some Nigerians that he was seeking a backdoor to continue in office beyond the constitutionally permitted 2023.
The fears increased when some protesters called for a constitutional amendment to allow him to stay in office beyond 2023. A member of Mr Buhari’s party, APC, also approached the court to nullify the term limit set in the constitution. The party man later withdrew the suit after the APC distanced itself from it.
Mr Buhari was first elected president in 2015 on the APC platform. He won reelection earlier this year defeating dozens of other candidates including Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
In his letter titled, ‘A Letter from the President at New Year’, President Buhari stated that his primary concern is the security of the nation and the safety of its citizens.
“When I assumed office in May 2015, my first task was to rally our neighbours so that we could confront Boko Haram on a coordinated regional basis. Chaos is not a neighbour any of us hope for.
“We have been fighting on several fronts: violent extremists, cultists, and organized criminal networks. It has not been easy. But as we are winning the war, we also look to the challenge of winning the peace, the reconstruction of lives, communities, and markets. The North East Development Commission will work with local and international stakeholders to help create a new beginning for the North East,” he said.