Abuja – Civil Society Organisations (CSO) on Monday in Abuja expressed delight over President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration to run for second term come 2019.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 9, officially announced his intention to seek re-election in 2019.
Some of the CSOs that it was a good thing that Buhari had decided to run in the 2019 presidential election but urged him not to abdicate his primary responsibility to politicking.
Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, the Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform (PER) said Buhari did not infringe on any law by declaring his intention to run.
According to him, if Buhari deems it fit to contest, it is within his rights to contest.
He said “once you are qualified, you can contest for two terms, so the president has not bridged any law, what he has done is that he has freed up the political atmosphere.
“Those waiting to see whether he will declare or not are now free to make their own choices and that for me is important.
“This is because the uncertainty that his lack of not showing interest has brought has been removed now and people are clearly sure how to engage in the campaign.’’
Nwagwu, however, expressed concern that governance might stop now for campaigns, adding that “citizens need to continue to press that the president should not abandon his responsibility to politicking.”
Mr Chidi Onuma, the Coordinator, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, also told NAN that “constitutionally, Buhari has right to run if he wants to.”
Onuma also said “that should not mean that governance activities should be put on hold because there are a lot more needed to be done before the elections.
“The president can declare his intention but at the end of the day, it is left for Nigerians to decide if he will come back or not, based on what he has done in the last three years.
“That is the beauty of democracy, let the people decide and if they feel he has done enough to deserve a second chance, so be it.’’
The coordinator urged the electorate and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
to play their parts fairly to ensure that the election was free and fair.
Mr Jaye Gaskiya, one of the conveners of “Say No Campaign” also said although it was Buhari’s constitutional right to run for second term, he should not abandon his responsibilities to campaigns and
Ms Cynthia Mbamalu, the Project Manager, Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) urged aspirants for the 2019 elections including Buhari not to neglect their responsibilities
because of campaigns.
She also advised them to respect INEC’s timetable and obey the guidelines for elections to enable a smooth election year come 2019.
She urged Nigerians to get ready for the elections by equipping themselves with the right information and also get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to enable them to cast their votes come 2019. (NAN)