- Keep to your promise of credible polls, CAN tells president
- Warns INEC against being used for rigging
- No 5m votes for Buhari in Kano, PDP insists
Iyobosa Uwugiaren, Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Kano State declared that he had always nursed the ambition to reform the country, adding that he had performed creditably in all the areas he promised Nigerians during his first term.
This is coming as the umbrella body of Christian groups in Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday advised President Buhari to keep to his promises to conduct free, fair and credible general election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also asked President Buhari to stop fixating over the non-existent five million votes that was promised him by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State as such was completely illusionary.
President Buhari yesterday expressed appreciation to the people of the state for their confidence in his ability and assured them that he is in the race to secure the country.
“I consider Kano as my political base and the mammoth crowd that had attended this rally had convinced me that the APC is on the road to winning the forthcoming elections at all levels.”
The President also reminded Nigerians that his administration has restored peace in the North-east and all the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been restored to their respective homes.
According to President Buhari, his leadership qualities in the past three and a half years were enough for Nigerian voters to decide his fate during the forthcoming presidential election.
“I am proud to tell people that I was able to fulfill my ambition in life. I was a minister and a governor. The positions I held at the peak of my youthful life. I became Head of State in my capacity as a military officer. I was elected as a civilian President in 2015, after a rigorous and painstaking struggle. I have nothing to tell Nigerians than to say thank you”.
“It was our expectation that this time around, the APC is poised to winning the elections at all levels without any headache”.
In his remarks, Governor Ganduje, enumerated President Buhari’s achievements over the past four years and stressed the need to re-elect him to continue with the good job.
Speaking also, the Director General of President Buhari campaign team, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, dismissed the claim by the PDP vice presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, that former administration of President Goodluck Jonathan had paid the contractors for Abuja to Kano railway.
Amaechi said “It is not true. The statement by Mr. Obi is false. I expect him as former governor and also a running mate to cross check facts before saying it.”
Meanwhile, CAN yesterday advised President Buhari to keep to his promises to conduct free, fair and credible general election.
This was contained in a five-point communiqué issued by the body at the end of its first quarter meeting of 2019 held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The communiqué signed by CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, warned that the resurgence of insecurity in the North-east has the capacity to threaten the forthcoming general election if efforts at curtailing it are not stepped up.
“The association however, observes that the present efforts of the government in providing security are not yielding the needed results as wanton killings have continued, especially in some states in the northern part of the country. “Boko Haram appeared to have resurrected again, decimating communities in Borno and Yobe States in particular, and not sparing soldiers. This resurgence of insecurity in the Northeast portends danger for the forthcoming general elections if efforts at curtailing it are not increased. Many voters might be disenfranchised from voting’’, the body stated.
CAN, however, commended the President for the continuous reassurance that all will be done by the government to make the forthcoming general election free, fair and credible, imploring him to make sure that all these promises are transformed into reality through concrete efforts that would prevent violence and other electoral malpractices.
“We call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Police and other security agents not to make themselves available to be used for rigging or any form of electoral malpractice by the politicians. “No voter or election observer must be intimidated or harassed throughout the period of the election. We equally urge politicians to run away from vote buying while the electorates should not allow anybody to buy their votes. If you sell your vote, you sell your future.
“We urge all Nigerians to continue pray fervently for peaceful and credible elections in our country and to walk circumspectly.”
On the fight against corruption, the Christian body cautioned President Buhari against pursuing his anti-corruption agenda in disregard of due process.
In a related development, the PDP has asked President Buhari to stop fixating over the non-existent five million votes that was promised him by the Governor Ganduje, describing it as completely illusionary.
The PDP in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said that Buhari must have received a shock of his life when he realised that his party, APC, had to rent a crowd from neighbouring Niger Republic to populate his rally in Kano after the planners could not mobilise enough supporters from Kano to attend.
Ologbondiyan added, “Nigerians watched in amusement as two state governors and a traditional ruler from Niger Republic, who were contracted to hire and ferry in the aliens, struggled for space with APC leaders at the rally.
“They saw how the crowd, with strange and conflicting colours, could not connect to calls and speeches by APC leaders, but remained uncoordinated and had to be instructed and prodded to respond at the rally”.