23 November 2017
President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to a free and fair election and providing a level ground for all aspirants, the Minister of Information and Culture, ALhaji Lai Mohammed has said.
Alhaji Mohammed who spoke to political editors hailed President Buhari’s role in the success of the Anambra election, stating, however, that the president will ensure all votes count in 2019.
On the Anambra election, Alhaji Mohammed said by allowing all candidates compete uninhibited, President Buhari sent a clear message – ‘let the people make their decisions’.
Meanwhile, he explained that if the people decided to sell their votes, there was nothing the government at the centre could do about that.
His words: “We will continue to drum it and let them understand that vote is the single most powerful weapon they have and once they sell it, they can’t come round again until the next four years to complain about the kind of leaders they have.”
Mohammed added the APC-led government wanted the people to decide the outcome of every election.
“It is not about who is at the centre but we did not follow the temptation to use our muscle. It was quite tempting because we don’t have any governor in the South-east but we felt it is only fair for the people to decide their own fate.
“The Buhari-administration provided a level playing field for all and he showed that from the manner he restored the security aides of Governor Obiano.
“For whatever reason, the Inspector- General of Police (IG) felt that going by experience, it will not be proper to leave the security aides.
“So, he posted out the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the governor and other key security officials. But the president felt that it is not enough to be honest, you must also appear honest and whatever the reasons the IG might have is about perception.
“He said the right thing to do is to restore the governor’s aides and design a manner to ensure that nobody will abuse the constitution.
“This has never happened in the history of Nigeria. I know that the practice before was that a few days before election, commissioners of police will be posted out even sometimes, INEC officials or DG SSS will be posted out.”