The Presidency has warned candidates participating in the supplementary elections scheduled to hold on March 23, 2019 not to expect any interference on their behalf by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It said rather, they should work hard to ensure victory for themselves.
The warning was given in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.
He said Buhari was not a man to manipulate election for anyone as had allegedly been done by others in his position.
He said under the current administration, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had been truly independent.
His words: “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.”
The statement by Shehu reads:
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.