President Muhammadu Buhari has clarified his stand regarding the supplementary elections scheduled to hold in some states across the country on March 23.
The President has disclosed that he will not interfere with the duties of the Independent National Electoral Commission or try to manipulate them in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates contesting in the supplementary elections.
This development was made known by President Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu in a statement on Sunday.
Speaking in for the President in the Statement, he asked all the APC candidates to prepare well for the forthcoming supplementary elections citing that the President has promised to ensure that the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC carries out its duties effectively without interference.
He warned the APC candidates not to expect any interference from the President in their favour. He cited that interference, and manipulation has been common when elections are declared inconclusive, but that will not be the case this time.
Mr. Garba Shehu added that some APC members have started criticizing president Buhari about his stand ahead of the election and he noted that it is shameful to attack the president for refusing to go against the constitution and his integrity.
Mr. Shehu concluded that electoral manipulation goes against the president’s integrity and nature, and so the INEc will be allowed to carry out the elections independently.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT 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 criticize 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 favor.
Interestingly, while members of the ruling APC party were criticizing 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.
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