President Muhammadu Buhari has called on West African leaders to stop elongating their tenures in office, saying it has become a recipe for trouble.
Spokesperson to the President, Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement on Monday said the President made the call in Niamey, Niger Republic .
Buhari, alongside other regional West African leaders, is attending the Fifty-Seventh Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
Buhari in his speech at the event, pointed out that “as leaders of our individual Member-States of ECOWAS, we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits. This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region.”
“Related to this call for restraint is the need to guarantee free, fair and credible elections. This must be the bedrock for democracy to be sustained in our sub-region, just as the need for adherence to the rule of law,” the President added.
Alpha Condé of Guinea will be contesting for a third term in office following a March 2020 constitutional reform which he utilised to circumvent a two-term limit on presidential mandates.
In Ivory Coast, President Alassane Ouattara is also seeking re-election for a third term. Ouattara, who has ruled since 2011, said in March he would not run again. But his preferred successor, then-Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died in July, leading the party to ask Ouattara to reconsider his earlier decision.
His opponents say the two-term limit in the constitution bars him from running again, but Ouattara has said his first two mandates do not count under the new constitution adopted in 2016.
During Monday’s summit, the president of Ghana, Prof. Nana Akufo-Addo, was elected the new Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States – ECOWAS.
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