By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE Presidency yesterday said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s admonition to the people of Imo State to vote according to their conscience in the forthcoming elections was as a result of the mixed crowd that attended his presidential campaign rally in Owerri, the state capital.
The Presidency also explained that President Buhari has expressed his support to all candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on which platform he is seeking re-election in the February 16 election.
Speaking to journalists, the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, dismissed insinuations that President Buhari did not show full support for the APC while campaigning in Imo State because of the alleged fractiousness within the party there which has led to disagreements with the state governor, Rochas Okorocha.
He said that the President has assured members of the APC that he is fully behind the party and its candidates in every state of the federation, and campaigns for them wherever he goes.
According to him, “The massive crowd that gathered to welcome President Buhari in Imo State was made up of not only supporters of the APC in the state, but also supporters of other parties who are united by their love for the President and their desire to see him re-elected, despite the local candidates they support.”
He explained that President Buhari’s consciousness of this obviously-mixed crowd was the reason why he did not speak only about support for the APC during the campaign, but also encouraged the people to vote according to their consciences.
According to the presidential spokesman, “While President Buhari is fully behind APC, he welcomes endorsements from those who do not belong to the ruling party but is also sensitive to their support for non-APC candidates at the local level.”