Abuja, March 17, 2019
The Presidency has described as unfair and ridiculous criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent disinterest in the upcoming re-run elections in some quarters.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
The Presidential aide was reacting to complaints by some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who wrongfully assumed that the “President will abuse power by changing results to favour them.’’
Shehu, therefore, 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).
“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.
Shehu therefore, maintained that it was 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 added.
The presidential aide assured that under President Buhari, INEC had been and would be completely independent throughout the elections, free from any interference.
He added that, “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 assured.