Hopes by leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in states where rerun elections will hold on Saturday that President Muhammadu Buhari will aid their chances may have been dashed, as the Presidency said on Sunday that the President will do no such thing.
The Presidency, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also warned political leaders it accused of making inflammatory statements ahead of the supplementary elections to desist forthwith.
According to the Presidency, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was fully in charge of electoral matters in the country, and not President Muhammadu Buhari, who it says would neither interfere with the process nor change results in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The statement also confirmed that some party leaders expected that Buhari would abuse his office by usurping the powers of INEC to turn the tables in their favour, adding that the President would do no such thing.
The Presidency further advised party leaders in the affected six states to work hard to earn the votes of the people on Saturday.
The statement reads in part: “The Presidency also rejects unfair and ridiculous criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent disinterest in the upcoming elections in some states by party members who wrongfully assume that the President will abuse his power by changing results to favour them.
“Past presidents of Nigeria were known to interfere in inconclusive elections, and that is why party members appear to be upset that the same thing is not happening now.
“President Buhari is a different kind of leader. He swore to defend the Constitution and he will not veer off from that.
“The Constitution of Nigeria gives the President no such powers. It is unfair and ridiculous to criticise President Buhari for not going against the Constitution.
“Party members in states where there will be supplementary elections then need to be reminded that they need to work hard to earn their people’s votes, rather than expect President Buhari to manipulate INEC in their favour.”