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Presidential hopeful links Buhari’s stance on electoral law to rigging suspicion


President Muhammadu Buhari PHOTO: BAYO OMOBORIOWO

Until President Muhammadu Buhari signs the duly passed Electoral Act into law, suspicion among Nigerians that the Federal Government is allegedly planning to rig the 2019 polls will persist.

Presidential candidate of Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Ambrose Owuru, who stated this yesterday, noted that it was imperative that the bill, which would allow electronic collation and transmission of results at the presidential election, should be signed into law to advance Nigeria’s democracy.

He explained that assurances from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Federal Government that the elections will be free, fair and credible would not change the peoples’ perception of a programmed selection and rigging to achieve self-succession, as being echoed by prominent religions leaders and other persons in the country.

“We are alarmed at the unending electoral fraud alerts and warning by prominent and respected leaders that the 2019 presidential election will be rigged and marred by violence using security agencies.

“The warning of rigging and programmed selection process, cloned as an election process to deceive the world and foist selected leaders as elected, has caused apprehension among Nigerians.

“The less privileged voting population, who are majority of registered voters earnestly long for a welfare state, which our party has offered,” he said. Owuru noted that President Buhari’s action has created fear in Nigerians that their hope for the emergence of an egalitarian society, which the HDP promises may not be realised if INEC’s alleged programmed selection is allowed to go on unchecked.

“The fear of already prepared results is palpable, following allegations and counter accusations between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) of having previously engaged in such acts against the wishes of Nigerians in previous elections,” he said.

The party declared that it is the collective wish of the over 50 million registered voters and over 87 million poor Nigerians that a referendum process be put in place to be monitored by the United Nations (UN) for adoption of an alternative electoral process that will produce a popular winner.

This, the party said, was necessary to prevent legal contest that characterises elections in the country. He argued that INEC, as presently constituted, does not enjoy the confidence, independence and neutrality of an electoral umpire in spite of its sustained media hype and assurances.

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