18 May 2017
The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has declared that acting President Yemi Osinbajo cannot replace President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 should anything happen to Buhari who has been in London for a medical follow-up for an undisclosed ailment.
The Chairman of the forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi, said should Buhari fail to seek re-election in 2019, the North must retain the presidency by fielding a candidate through the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Abdullahi said although Osinbajo, according to the constitution, should be allowed to complete the current tenure being Buhari’s deputy, he must not contest in 2019 should Buhari fail to re-contest for a second term.
“The constitutional provision says that in the event that the president dies in office or becomes incapacitated for one reason or the other and cannot perform the duties of his office, he will be succeeded by the vice president.
“But no one is in a position to know at what point he is going to recover fully and come back to office, or whether the unexpected could happen,” he said.
He was adamant that Osinbajo cannot replace Buhari in 2019, adding: “If the worst case scenario happens and Buhari is not back on seat, the constitution is very clear that the vice president takes over.
“And what we then expect is that he will take that tenure to its logical end and from there, the politics of power sharing will take precedence over anything else.”
He also said: “When the unexpected happens in 2019, we will be back to our position that the north should be treated equitably and fairly.
“And we expect that another northern candidate will emerge as presidential candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).”