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‘Stay away from Edo election’, HURIWA warns Buhari

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HURIWA says it is completely out of order for President Muhammadu Buhari to be seen extremely concerned about the outcome of the election when in actual fact as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is holding the office on behalf of the entirety of Nigeria as he is not the President of All Progressives Congress.

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has warned President Muhammadu Buhari to stay away from the Edo governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 19.

HURIWA in a statement issued on Monday by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko rather counselled President Buhari to play the role of a statesman by staying neutral in the course of the election.

The group also faulted the alleged use of a Presidential jet by the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), campaign council for Edo election, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, describing the development as a breach of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

The statement by HURIWA reads thus in full; “HURIWA wants the President, Muhammadu Buhari to be a statesman and not interfere in the coming election in Edo state to select the governor of the state. HURIWA says it is completely out of order for President Muhammadu Buhari to be seen extremely concerned about the outcome of the election when in actual fact as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is holding the office on behalf of the entirety of Nigeria as he is not the President of All Progressives Congress.

“The Nigerian President is by his oath of office expected to be above board and must not be seen actively promoting one-sided agenda but should be the champion of a pan Nigerian agenda.

“We have observed with shock and disappointment that the campaign council set up by the All Progressively Congress headed by the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, flew into Benin, the Edo state capital on a presidential jet belonging to all of Nigeria.

“If this trending news report is anything to go by, then we absolutely condemn this reckless display of political rascality and flagrant abuse of power which offends section 15(5) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which states that, ‘the state shall abolish all corrupt practice and abuse of power’”.

The statement by HURIWA continued; “We, in HURIWA view this naked show of reckless executive power manifested in the illegal use of the people’s jet for a partisan affair such as conveying the campaign team of the APC to Benin City as reported which we believe is meant to tell the electoral umpire that the President’s mind is that the electoral process be manipulated in favour of the party that controls presidential power which incidentally is the appointing authority of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

“We hereby warn INEC to ensure that the governorship poll is free, fair, transparent and peaceful. INEC must not be intimidated by the federally controlled security forces nor should they out of intimidation already displayed by the fact that the presidential jet was deployed to convey the campaign team of APC, to then manipulate the electoral process.

“We want to caution INEC that any attempt to rig the poll may not augur well for the stability of Nigeria.”

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