Confident Imumolen hails Buhari for neutral stance on 2023 elections
…Says president’s decision will work in Accord party’s favour on Election Day
President Muhammadu Buhari’s public declaration that he would not meddle with the results of the upcoming general elections has been praised by Professor Christopher Imumolen, the presidential candidate for the Accord Party.
When welcoming state governors from his party’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to Abuja earlier this week, Buhari made it clear that he would respect the will of the Nigerian electorate by abstaining from meddling in the election’s results, despite the fact that Bola Tinubu would be his party’s candidate.
The Nigerian president said he was encouraged by the recent off-season governorship elections in Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun states, saying it had further boosted Nigerians’ confidence in the electoral process.
Since then, Nigerians have responded to his stance on the elections in a variety of ways, including Professor Imumolen.
The youngest candidate for president in 2023, Imumolen, 38, claimed that the president’s stance on neutrality represents, possibly, the biggest electoral victory seen in more than two decades of the country’s return to democratic rule.
According to him, this neutrality not only had the potential to increase voters’ and candidates’ trust in the electoral process, but it was also a significant turning point because it refuted widely held myths about incumbents using their position of power to sway elections.
“I really want to appreciate our commander-in-chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, for stating that he’d be neutral in next year’s general elections,” Imumolen, who clocks 39 on September 5, said on Saturday, in an interview with newsmen.
“What makes his position on non-interference in the elections most remarkable is the fact that he is an interested party. The APC would be presenting a candidate in the elections, and if past antecedents are the yardstick, then we would all naturally believe he’d do anything, including using the security forces and the electoral umpire, to sway the results of the elections his way.
“For this, I salute him. Nigerians can now be fully assured that their votes will count and all the negative practices of the past will not happen this time.
“Our biggest fear before now has been that the elections will be rigged to favour the party in power. But the president’s recent statement will do a lot to clear up those fears. Our people, assured that their collective wishes would be respected, will now be confident to throng the 176,000 polling booths all across the country on Election Day to cast their votes,” he added.
Imumolen also urged the president to back up his position of neutrality by providing adequate funding for the security personnel who would be stationed at all polling places on election day.
“Another wish I’d like the president to grant Nigerians is to ensure that security forces and (INEC) personnel are well motivated and mobilised to deliver a hitch-free exercise,£ he said.
“I hope we can trust the president on this. If he indeed honours his words to steer clear of interfering in the elections and allows the best man to win, then he will go down in history as the man who really brought about transparent elections in Nigeria.
“What a legacy that would be; when his story is told to future generations, he shall be known as a champion of democracy despite initially coming from a military background. I know he will not disappoint, though,” he said.
Imumolen also commended the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for cleaning up their acts in such a way as to ensure resounding successes in elections recently held in Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun, saying it was a great improvement from elections of the past.
“I would also like to commend INEC for the efficient manner in which they conducted the governorship elections in Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun states,” he said.
“I am particularly impressed by the way the results were collated and announced with minimal delay. With their plans to also electronically transmit elections in next year’s general elections, Nigerians are in for the best times of their lives.”
He added: “With everything appearing to be in place, I have no doubt whatsoever that a candidate like Professor Christopher Imumolen, who is the voice of the people, who has the structure, who believes in raising millions of votes, will emerge the winner.”