Sunday 5 February 2023

Politicians pressuring Buhari to compromise February 25 poll – Group alleges

 The Abuja School of Social and Political Thoughts (ASSPT) has disclosed that some Nigerian politicians are putting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to compromise the forthcoming general election.

The group stated that the statements made by politicians suggesting that the President has a responsibility to interfere in the electoral process to guarantee success for members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) are worrisome, noting that it is the responsibility of the Independence Electoral Commission, INEC to conduct the elections.

 The director of ASSPT, Dr Sam Amadi, who made the disclosure in Abuja during the weekly briefings on the preparation towards free, fair and credible elections in 2023, stated that attempts to shame the President into taking sides in the electoral process are efforts to further compromise the credibility of the elections.

According to him: “The history of electoral malpractices in Nigeria shows that it is mainly the involvement of incumbents in the process of an election that usually compromises the freeness of elections. It is a good happenstance that in the coming election, President Buhari is not on the ballot, even if his party is on the ballot.

“It rests on the President regarding a secured environment for free and fair polls. It is never the responsibility of the President to help any candidate win an election. The President does not conduct elections. No one should goad him to act unconstitutionally and undermine his pledge to Nigerians and the international community.”

He further stated: “Instead of harassing the President in respect of presumed non-support for his party’s candidate, these politicians should be pressing the President to extract implementation strategy from his military and police chiefs on how to defeat the terrorist army, insurgents and notorious criminals who would want to undermine electoral integrity through criminal actions and scaremongering.”

The group commended President Buhari for continuously restating his determination to leave a legacy of credible elections, and his steadfast decision not to interfere with the electoral process.

Also, speaking on the post-Osun tribunal decision, Amadi said: “It is not democracy for courts to determine over 50% of elections. It is a tragedy that voters do not know if their votes determine who wins the election. The court should rarely be involved in determining who becomes president, governor or legislator.

He alleged: “In the next three weeks, Nigerians are going to the polls not being sure who will ultimately be a candidate because the courts will continue to invalidate and impose candidatures.”

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