The civil rights advocacy platform in Nigeria, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to be a Statesman and not interfere in the forthcoming Governorship election in Edo state.
HURIWA, said it was completely out of order for President Muhammadu Buhari to be seen extremely concerned about the outcome of the election when in actual fact, as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is holding office on behalf of the entirety of Nigeria and not the President of his political party, the All Progressives Congress(APC).
Speaking in Abuja on Monday, the HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the Nigerian President is by his Oath of Office, expected to be above board and must not be seen actively promoting one sided agenda but should be the champion of a Pan Nigeria agenda— A Pan Nigeria agenda as it concerns Election is that tendency which ensures that there is integrity, transparency and accountability.
According to him, “We have observed with shock and disappointment that the campaign council setup by the All Progressives Congress headed by the governor of Kano State Abdullahi Ganduje flew into Benin, the Edo State capital on a presidential jet belonging to all of Nigeria. If this trending news report is anything to go by, then we absolutely condemn this reckless display of political rascality and flagrant abuse of power which offends section 15(5) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which states that: “The state shall abolish all Corrupt practice and abuse of power”.
“We, in HURIWA view this naked show of reckless executive power manifested in the illegal use of the people’s public jet for a partisan affair such as conveying the campaign team of the APC to Benin City as reported which we believe is meant to tell the electoral umpire that the President’s mind is that the electoral process be manipulated in favour of the party that controls presidential power which incidentally is the appointing authority of the INEC.
“We hereby warn INEC to ensure that the governorship poll is free, fair, transparent and peaceful. INEC must not be intimidated by either the federally controlled security forces or should they out of intimidation already displayed by the fact that the presidential jet was deployed to convey the campaign team of APC, to then manipulate the electoral process.
“We want to caution INEC that any attempt to rig the poll may not augur well for the stability of Nigeria”, he stated.
HURIWA further appealed to both the PDP and the APC as well as other political players participating in the poll to see the election as an opportunity for the good people of Edo state to democratically elect their freely chosen Governor, adding that the people of Edo must be allowed to exercise their fundamental human rights to freely choose who should be their Governor.
Onwubiko stressed that there must be no interference from external persons, be they former governors, current governors or the President of Nigeria. “INEC has failed on many occasions to deliver fee, fair, transparent and peaceful poll, Nigerians are watching to see if the Edo Election will be a great opportunity for the morally depraved INEC to redeem themselves from past misdeeds”, he said.
He further asked the security forces to stay objective and to only work for public good and must not be used as agents to undermine the will of the Nigerian People.
The group also condemned the reported posting of soldiers to protect the former national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomole, noting that this report, if proven, amounts to a gross abuse of power by the President because soldiers ought not to be posted as gatemen.
“This is against the constitution of the Nigerian Armed Forces as can be seen from relevant provisions from section 217-220”, he remarked.
(The Sight News)