President Muhammadu Buhari will, at the end of his second and final term in office, bequeath to Nigeria a very robust democratic space that many Nigerians will be proud of.
According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), this is obvious from his deliberate non-interference in the just concluded governorship and States’ House of Assembly elections.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said Buhari did not go out of his way to ensure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) got undue advantage in last Saturday’s elections.
“It was unthinkable that a ruling party in Nigeria would lose crucial states so soon after winning a Presidential election.
“Nigerians are used to Presidents using their enormous powers to retain their party in power at state level at all cost, regardless of the people’s will, but President Buhari has shown himself to be different in spite of what his perennial critics want Nigerians to believe.
“Here is a man who won by a landslide in Kano, Bauchi and Sokoto states two weeks ago but did not lean on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure victory for APC candidates in last Saturday’s election in those states.
“The close contest in those states invariably led to some people questioning his margin of victory without considering the Buhari phenomenon which transcends party leanings and affiliations, especially in Northern Nigeria.
“Oyo is another hitherto APC stronghold which the party lost to the Peoples Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidate by a big margin without the President making any effort to influence the outcome.”
The group says President Buhari deserves credits for this principled stand.
“We at BMO clearly remember how previous Presidents used federal might to retain states in which their candidates lost, but President Buhari has shown that he is a statesman with a different mindset”, it said.
The group pointed out that the President’s non-interference shows that he is a true democrat that keeps to his words.
“President Buhari is on record to have said that Nigerians were free to vote for political parties of their choice, at a time key APC members were openly expressing support for governorship candidates on the platform of other parties.
“So it is not surprising that the results so far announced by INEC officials largely reflected the will of the people, regardless of whether APC won or not.
“The era where elements of the ruling party would be given protection to write results is gone and we can also recall that in 2007, results for gubernatorial election in at least one state was announced in Abuja even when collation had not been completed in the state.”