…Says APC presidential aspirants playing to the gallery
By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA: The Buhari Campaign Organisation, BCO, Wednesday, justified the acceptance by President Muhammadu Buhari of the N45 million expression of interest and nomination forms purchased for him, saying the president violated no law in accepting the offer.
BCO, which took a swipe at those criticising President Muhammadu Buhari for accepting the forms, particularly asked Nigerians to ignore the outburst by the APC aspirants, describing it as the ranting of anti-democratic elements in the country’s political space.
Recall the presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC, under the aegis of Coalition of 2019 APC Aspirants had on Tuesday asked President Buhari to reject the nomination forms purchased for him by the Nigeria Consolidation Ambassador Network, NCAN.
They argued the purchase of the forms at the cost of N45 million on the ground that it fundamentally contravenes Section 91(9) of the Electoral Act.
But reacting in a statement by its Director of Communications and Strategy, Mallam Gidado Ibrahim, BCO said it was appalled by the statement issued on behalf of APC presidential aspirants “on Wednesday by Dr SKC Ogbonnia, Chief Charles Udeogaranya and Alhaji Mumakai Unagha” criticising the president’s for accepting the forms bought for him.
Ibrahim stated: “The Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) wishes to ask Nigerians and indeed, the teaming supporters of President Buhari not to be distracted by the purported group of the APC presidential aspirants.
“The President Buhari we know and who Nigerians know further and better is highly law-abiding and always wishes to act according to the provisions of the extant laws of the country. He is not known to be going zigzag or undercutting corners in any matter. Rather, he is highly straightforward and upright in his private or official conduct.
“Section 91 (9) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) states that ‘an individual or other entity shall not donate more than N1m to any candidate’, whereas, President Buhari is yet a candidate but an aspirant. He was however offered presidential nomination form and not any cash worth over N1 million”.
The BCO also chided advocates of restructuring, just as it urged Nigerians not to be gullible to politicians who had the opportunity to improve the fortunes of the country but decided to squander it instead.
He said further, “The Buhari Campaign Organisation, BCO, has noted equally the much touted “restructuring mantra” by those that had all the opportunities to put the country in good economic, socio-political pedestal but were rather concerned with what to amass for themselves and what their 5th generation (yet unborn) would not be able to consume.
“President Buhari is already restructuring by halting unnecessary stealing of the nation’s patrimony, preparing to re-issue oil blocs to indigent and capable developers, especially to people from the region suffering from environmental degradation. The President is irked by the wide gap between the rich and the poor and he is determined to narrow that gap at all cost”.
The BCO further assured Nigerians that Buhari will ensure the right thing is done irrespective of its consequences to his aspirations, adding that by that, the president has vowed to conduct the 2019 general election according to the rule of law.
Ibrahim noted: “It is noteworthy that President Muhammadu Buhari is going into the 2019 elections as an incumbent enjoying the support of a lot more governors, Senators, House of Representative members, House of Assembly members and Local Government Chairmen than he ever had.
“Equally the odds are no more stacked up against the President as he will see to a truly free and fair elections as witnessed in elections conducted in the last three years. We expect the soaring popularity of the President to be reflected in the 2019 elections”.
Turning to the opposition PDP, BCO said where the major opposition party failed, President Buhari has been tested and trusted in the last three years “as demonstrated by the wide acceptance Nigeria enjoys in the international communities, which can be seen by the recent visit of two world leader, Prime Ministers Theresa May of Britain and Angela Merkel of Germany”.
Ibrahim continued: “In the last three years, what has been more exposed and Nigerians have seen is the extent of damage inflicted on the country in the last sixteen years by PDP, damage the President and his team are working tirelessly to fix. No matter the impatience some Nigerians have shown with Buhari, they just don’t want to GO BACK to PDP.
“That is why PDP has lost all the critical electoral contests since 2015 (Kogi, Edo, Anambra, Ekiti and Ondo States). In the final analysis, despite all the noise from our ‘noisy neighbours’, they will be shocked by the landslide victory for the president in 2019”.