Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday urged West African heads of state to stop elongating their tenure in office, saying it is becoming a source of trouble, Garba Shehu, his spokesperson said.

Buhari made the comments at the 57th ordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States, also known as ECOWAS, in Niger’s capital Niamey.

“As leaders of our individual Member-States of ECOWAS, we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits. This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region,” Buhari said.

“Related to this call for restraint is the need to guarantee free, fair and credible elections. This must be the bedrock for democracy to be sustained in our sub-region, just as the need for adherence to the rule of law,” he added.

Buhari made the comments as several heads of state are vying for another term of office.

This year, there will be parliamentary and presidential elections in several West African countries, including, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea and Niger.

At the summit, the head ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Kassi Brou will present to the West African leaders, the 2020 Interim Report on activities of the sub-regional body including ECOWAS Vision 2050.

The alarming rise in incidents of terrorism, insurgency, armed banditry and piracy will also come under focus at the one-day summit in Niamey, while the disruption of the democratic process by the military in Mali, will receive further attention, according to the Nigerian presidency.

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