President Muhammadu Buhari has no plan to stay beyond 2023 in office, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said.
The ruling party stated this on Tuesday in reaction to an allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that Mr Buhari is hatching a “self-succession” plan.
The party’s interim National Secretary, John Akpanudoehede, told the Nation newspaper to ignore the widespread assumption and anticipate the APC’s move ahead of its National Convention.
He said the PDP was being haunted by its past.
“Unlike the opposition, we are a disciplined party. PDP is just being haunted by its past. You will recall the inglorious third term agenda while PDP was in power. So, it is easy to accuse APC now.
“After our (APC) congresses and the National Convention, we will shock them (PDP) by bringing a consensus and an agreeable candidate that will fly the flag of the party come 2023. APC has no third term agenda like PDP.
“What we are doing now is to stabilise the party and not allow individual ambitions to derail the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari,” he reportedly said.
Mr Akpanudoehede’s denial is coming hours after the APC-led presidency vowed to retain the seat beyond 2023.
The Senior Special Adviser to Mr Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who spoke in Daura, Katsina State shortly after observing the Eid-Kabir prayers on Wednesday, trivialised the chances of any of the main opposition parties taking over the presidential seat in the next General Elections.
He boasted of Mr Buhari’s popularity among Nigerians, without reference to the prevalent socio-economic cum security realities in the country.
“We believe the PDP and other opposition parties are nursing false hopes of taking power comes 2023.
“The masses will never abandon President Buhari’s leadership and the APC. I assure you that in 2023, the masses will be waiting for the President to show the way in courtesy of what he has been building for the country in terms of infrastructure and wellbeing of young people in the country,” Mr Shehu told journalists.
Currently serving his constitutionally allowed second term in office, Mr Buhari is expected to vacate the seat in 2023.