—-Says INEC fully in charge
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – AHEAD of the March 23 supplementary elections as arranged by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in some states of the federation, the Presidency last night cautioned against what it described as “a lot of the hate spewing, incitement to violence and the polarizing statements by so-called political leaders.”
The Presidency also said it rejected 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.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja, stated that past Presidents of Nigeria were known to interfere in inconclusive elections, and that it was the reason why party members appear to be upset that the same thing was not happening again in the present situation in the country.
According to the presidential aide, “President Buhari is a different kind of leader. He swore to defend the constitution and will not veer off from that.”
He further said, “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.”
He said 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,” he said.