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NHRC backs Buhari’s re-election bid

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(Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

A coalition of civil society groups under the aegis of the Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC) yesterday canvassed support for President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming general elections, saying Nigerians should not return the country to the locust years.

At a press briefing in Lagos, Adeleye Taiwo, who spoke on behalf of the groups said though each of the two leading parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has its own inadequacies, the nation would be safer under the control of the ruling APC.

“As the 2019 election draw near, Nigerians are expected to pick from the array of presidential aspirants the one that best aggregates their interests. It is really a very difficult and delicate choice. The two leading political parties, the APC and the PDP have their shortcomings.

“Many Nigerians would have preferred a clean break from the past. However, the reality is that the two political parties that stand the potential of winning the presidential election are the APC or the PDP. Already, many Nigerians are aware that as far as the election is concerned, the choice is between President Muhammadu Buhari of APC and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of PDP.

“We admit that the country has been moving slowly since 2015, many grounds that should have been covered have been left to lie fallow. Nevertheless, we think the country is not moving backward. We entertain the fear that returning the country to PDP and its arch supporters like Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo could be a costly mistake.”

The NHRC reitrated that reelecting Buhari would by no means indicate that Nigerians had made the most excellent choice, “but only that in the context of the limited possibilities, the citizens would have made a better choice out of the two most formidable alternatives available for them.

The civil groups alleged that the forces backing the PDP elements were some of those that ran the country to a shipwreck, especially in the military era, after which some of their cronies took over at the national level in 1999.

Meanwhile, Atiku’s wife, Dr. Jennifer Jamil, who is of Igbo origin, has assured south east women that if elected, her husband would redress the plight of the zone, empower the youths and involve the female politicians effectively in governance.

At an interactive session with women in Umuahia, Abia State, Jennifer noted the demand of the women for 35 percent share in Atiku’s appointments.

She urged the women and the zone to vote massively for Atiku whom she described as a detribalized Nigerian, assuring that her husband would also ensure security of life and property and engender accelerated development in Igboland.

“I shall subject my husband to sleeplessness and nightmares if he reneges on his promises to the south east zone, women and the youths.”


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