A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Robert Clarke on Monday called for the extension of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
The elder statesman made this call during an interview on Arise TV.
According to Clarke, the months before the 2023 general elections are not enough to tackle the security issues in the country, hence making election impossible.
He further stated that the Constitution provides that the President can extend his tenure for six months, if he feels that conditions are not good to carry out elections.
Clarke noted that it is wrong to believe that the President cannot stay in office for more than eight years.
The elder statesman said, “The Constitution provides that the President can stay longer than eight years. I’ve always said it. It is in the Constitution. If the situation in which we’re in now continues, and it is impossible to vote in the 2023 election, the Constitution says if a situation persists, the President will write INEC in view of all insurgencies, in view of kidnappings, in view of Boko Haram, I don’t think in these different areas of Nigeria, we can have a good election.
“The Constitution says I am going to stay for six months and in the first instance. So, the fact that the Constitution says the president cannot stay for more than eight years is wrong. Because the same constitution says he can be giving himself six six months if those conditions persist.
“Now, I don’t see any green light. I don’t see how what is happening today can be stopped within a period of six months from today or before February next year when the elections will be held.
“The alternative then is for Mr. President to continue as president, allow the security watches to carry up the mopping up and Nigeria will become stable.
“Because I swear to God Almighty, without stability in Nigeria, without security, Nigeria is going nowhere. No foreigner will bring his money and put in any business in Nigeria, when he knows that any of his expatriates who are sent to Nigeria can be kidnapped at any time. So, until all these things are sorted out, I don’t see any green light.”
“If nothing happens before the elections, God forbids, this country will be in flames.
“I am 84 years old, and I can assure you I’ve had the best time in my life, both in my legal practice, in my social life, in every aspect of life, but I can assure you, that those days are gone by. Since 1999, I have not been a happy man, the way and manner Nigeria has been moved.
“For instance, look at our first President, Obasanjo with due respect. What was the first negative act he did?I want a third term. Can you imagine? But he says, oh, it’s not me who wants it, is my friend who are asking me to go for a third term.
“That is how we started 1999 constitution by looking for loopholes to breach the Constitution. I don’t see any green light for Nigeria. And if we’re not careful, if we’re not careful…the only consolation is this.”