By Sani Tukur
President Muhammadu Buhari will not intervene to help his party win supplementary elections in six states where they are scheduled, the presidency has said.
The electoral commission, INEC, has fixed March 23 for supplementary elections in six states (Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto) where elections were declared inconclusive.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how INEC declared the elections in the six states inconclusive. because the margin of victory was less than the cancelled votes in each of the states.
Of the six states, the main opposition party, PDP, was leading in five, while Mr Buhari’s party, APC, was leading in Plateau.
The presidency in a statement by Mr Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said it was aware APC members were criticising Mr Buhari for not interfering in the electoral process to favour them.
“Interestingly, while members of the ruling APC party were criticising the president for not interfering on their behalf, members of the opposition were condemning the president based on their assumptions that he would definitely interfere, as many in the opposition did while in power,” Mr Shehu wrote.
See the full statement by Mr Shehu below.
The presidency has cautioned against a lot of the hate spewing, incitement to violence and the polarizing statements by so-called political leaders as a number of states brace up for supplementary elections prescribed by the National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The presidency also rejects unfair and ridiculous criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent disinterest in the upcoming elections in some states by party members who wrongfully assume that the president will abuse power by changing results to favour them.
Past Presidents of Nigeria were known to interfere in inconclusive elections, and that is why party members appear to be upset that the same thing is not happening now, but President Buhari is a different kind of leader. He swore to defend the constitution and will not veer off from that.
The constitution of Nigeria gives the President no such powers. It is unfair and ridiculous to criticise President Buhari for not going against the constitution.
Party members in states where there will be supplementary elections then need to be reminded that they need to work hard to earn their people’s votes, rather than expect President Buhari to manipulate INEC in their favour.
Interestingly, while members of the ruling APC party were criticising the president for not interfering on their behalf, members of the opposition were condemning the president based on their assumptions that he would definitely interfere, as many in the opposition did while in power.
Under President Buhari, INEC had been and will be completely independent throughout the elections, free from any interference.
President Buhari is a man of conviction, and the manipulation of election results goes against everything he stands for INEC is completely in charge.