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Atiku will defeat President in free, fair elections, says Niger ex-gov Aliyu

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Presidential candidate of the Nigeria’s opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar speaks during a campaign rally in Ilorin, north-central Nigeria, on December 5, 2018. – Presidential candidate of the Nigeria’s opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and Vice Presidential candidate Peter Obi launch their political campaign ahead of the 2019 general elections on December 5, 2018. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, has said that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will defeat President Muhammadu Buhari next year in a credible, free and fair election.

Besides, he urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to discharge their duties fairly in the interest of the nation in order not to derail the country’s democracy.

Speaking with journalists in Kaduna at the weekend, Aliyu said not only will the PDP defeat Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the national level it will also win in Niger State.

He stressed that INEC and the security agencies should remain neutral in the general elections to guarantee credible, free and fair elections.

He said, “What will be will be” not minding what has been happening in the polity, especially the intimidation of opposition party members.

“I believe that if the elections are free and fair; if there is no rigging; if security agencies are not used against our party, we will make it. We will win,” he said.

Speaking on President Buhari’s refusal to sign the Electoral Amendment act, Aliyu said although the National Assembly could over ride the President’s veto, Nigerians would have to wait if such action is capable of creating problems in the polity.

“I think that we need under Buhari’s watch is to ensure that we don’t have any problem with the 2019 election. In 2015, we understand what happened and everybody rallied round, even though the difference in the votes was not much, given he population of voters in the country.

“But I believe that when we used the card readers, it was not part of our law. Why not properly make it part of the law now? Because if it is used and it is not part of the law, you have no basis to question whatever the outcome of using the card readers will be,” he stated.

Aliyu explained that manual transmission and counting of votes from card readers have been creating problems all along. Why don’t we and correct it now?

“We appeal to the president either to reconsider his position or appeal to the National Assembly to review it again. This, to me, is not a partisan issue. This is part of our democratic development that we must encourage.

Nigerians must all rally round, as we move along in entrenching democracy,” he said.


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