With few days to the September 19 governorship election in Edo state, a foremost civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has counselled President Muhammadu Buhari to play the role of a statesman by staying neutral in the course of the exercise.
This is as the party reminded Buhari that as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Nigerians expect him to champion a level playing field that would afford all participating political parties equal opportunity to test their popularity at the poll.
Addressing journalists on Monday in Abuja, Emmanuel Onwubiko, national coordinator of HURIWA 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).
“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, ‘he state shall abolish all corrupt practice and abuse of power’ ”