Nigeria’s presidential election is eight days away, and there are chances that some unscrupulous politicians, possibly from the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) will use the name of the president, Muhammadu Buhari, to perpetrate evil with the aim of winning elections at all cost.
Speaking on behalf of his country, Stuart Symington, US ambassador to Nigeria, therefore warned public officials not to obey illegal directives issued in the name of President Muhammadu Buhari, TheCable reported.
Speaking with journalists on Thursday in Makurdi, Benue state capital, after a meeting with Samuel Ortom, the state governor, the ambassador said any politician whose utterances incite people to violence would be held to account for the crime.
He urged political leaders to ensure free and fair election as the polls draw closer.
Although the ambassador did not mention Buhari’s name, all indications point to the president who has on different occasions reiterated his commitment to free and fair elections.
“If anybody asks you to do something that is not right and says the boss wants you to do it, or the person at the top wants you to do it, don’t believe him; because the person at the top is honestly saying they want to win a fair election. There is a reason not to believe them,” the ambassador said.
“The citizens are responsible to their God, second to their conscience and third to the laws of Nigeria, fourth to the court of public opinion in Nigeria and finally international law and the rest of us.”
As election day draws nearer, tension has heightened between the ruling APC and main opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
Recalled Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State made a comment recently that could instigate violence during the election. He was quoted as saying that any foreigner who intervene in Nigeria’s internal affair would be made to leave the country in body bags.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was quick to call on the international community to disregard the “threat” issued by Nasir el-Rufai.
Wike had called for sanction of the outspoken northern governor.
Speaking at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign rally at Ngo in Andoni Local Government Area on Thursday, Wike said: “We want to call on the international community not to be afraid. They should not be deterred by the so-called threat by el-Rufai. They should come out and monitor these elections. If anybody rigs, they should sanction Nigeria. They should start first by imposing sanctions on el-Rufai. They should cancel all his visas.
“In 2015, the international community monitored the elections and Jonathan lost. He did not fight and handed over peacefully. He said that his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian. These elections must be free and fair.
“el-Rufai is afraid because he knows he has nothing to account for his stewardship in Kaduna. That is why he can open his mouth to attack the international community. I want the international community to disregard this threat by El-Rufai as empty.
“el-Rufai denies everything he says. Is that a man of character? el-Rufai was one of those who signed an administrative document in 2007 that disqualified Amaechi as a corrupt person. Today, he is singing a different song on Amaechi.”
He also added that “the mere fact that other geo-political zones of the country are quiet does not mean that they don’t know what to do.”
How true is the latest revelation by the U.S ambassador about some politicians using the name of President Buhari to perpetrate evil during the forthcoming elections?
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