Buhari says 2023 handover date certain

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has directed the Nigerian Armed Forces to remain apolitical, limiting their operations within the constitutional framework.

This is just as he said his handover of power to another elected leader in May 2023 is certain as stipulated in the Nigerian Constitution.

He also urged them to refrain from human rights abuses as a way to win the hearts of ordinary Nigerians.

These are contained in two separate statements issued on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

In a statement titled, “President Buhari canvasses Army neutrality on 2023 polls, wants human rights obligations sustained,” Buhari urged the Army to keep improving their human rights obligations in line with global best practices and also pledged that the modernisation drive of the Nigerian Armed Forces would be vigorously sustained.

‘‘The professionalism you exhibited in the successful conduct of the Anambra, Osun, and Ekiti states elections should also be reflected in the 2023 general elections,’’ the president said in Sokoto when he declared open the Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2022.

Speaking on the 2023 elections, Buhari noted that the Army and the Armed Forces, in general, must support the civil authority by providing a peaceful environment to enable its successful conduct.

He expressed delight that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, has already issued revised Rules of Engagement and a Code of Conduct to guide personnel during the general elections.

Addressing the over 500 delegates of senior Army officers at the conference themed “Building a Professional Nigerian Army for a 21st Century Security Environment,” the Commander-in-Chief challenged them to focus on consolidating the achievements made so far and ensuring continuity to improve Nigeria’s security situation.

“As a key element of our national power, the Nigerian Army will continue to be a major catalyst for the country’s development, especially by providing the needed aid to civil authorities.

“It is clear that the ongoing progressive modernisation of the Nigerian Army under our administration has greatly improved the service’s capabilities and combat efficiency in carrying out its roles,” Buhari added.

‘May 2023 sacrosanct’

Meanwhile, in another statement on Monday, the President said his handover of power to another elected leader in May 2023 is certain, as stipulated in the Nigerian Constitution.

Buhari spoke while hosting the Minister of National Education, Pre-School, and Sports of the Kingdom of Morocco, Mr Shakib Musa, who visited the State House as Special Envoy of King Mohammed VI.

The President noted that his term of office will end with the inauguration of a new President in May next year.

This is disclosed in a statement titled, ‘President Buhari receives Moroccan special envoy, says May 29 handover sacrosanct.’

“The President reiterated his commitment to handing over leadership to an elected President on May 29 next year, saying that his term in office will end on that day in line with the Constitution.

“He, however, said that he will study the message sent and respond accordingly, giving assurances at the same time that he will continue to cherish and strengthen the very warm and cordial relations between the two countries,” the statement read in part.

Source

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