Senate President Ahmad Lawan has dismissed claims that he is open to amending the constitution to allow an unlimited term in office for President Muhammadu Buhari.
The claim was propagated through a tweet posted by one Comr Mayor in March 2019.
Lawan was alleged to have said: “I won’t mind a constitutional amendment to allow unlimited term of office for President if President Buhari wishes to remain in office beyond 2023.”
The tweet, although now deleted, was retweeted and quoted over one thousand times.
The user did not state where or when Lawan made the statement.
Reacting in a statement through Ola Awoniyi, his special adviser on media, the senate president attributed the tweet to the handiwork of mischief-makers.
Lawan said he has never made such a statement and that there’s nothing wrong with the position of the 1999 constitution on the tenure of presidents.
“The Office of the President of the Senate has noted a tweet by one Cmr Mayor attributing a fabricated statement to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan,” the statement read.
“Our initial reaction was to ignore the ignoble mischief especially since it is not new, having been posted two years ago on 27 March 2019. But because the tweet has been trending again on social media, it becomes necessary to issue a formal rebuttal of its purport.
“We, therefore, say categorically that the Senate President has never made any such statement, before or after 2019.
“The old tweet which was entirely the handiwork of mischief makers is now being circulated again on social media by purveyors of fake news. The 1999 Constitution has a firm position on the tenure of the President that reflects the popular stand of Nigerians.
“Section 137(1)b states as follow: A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if (b) he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections.
“The Senate President has never found anything wrong in that provision of the Constitution and has always stood firmly by it.
“It bears recalling that Lawan was a member of the National Assembly when in 2006 it threw out an attempt to amend that section of the Constitution and elongate the tenure of the President. The National Assembly acted then in obedience to the overwhelmingly popular desire of Nigerians.
“It is, therefore, ludicrous to imagine that Lawan would ever be in the vanguard of any such misadventure that is again certain to fail if ever pursued again.”
The senate president added that he stands by the “well-considered and roundly appreciated provision of the constitution” on the issue, and that he “will never subscribe to any move to amend it”.