Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Nigerians in the diaspora have alleged that powerful elements in the ruling APC party are planning to rig polls in favour of the party in states where governorship elections were declared inconclusive.
They advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to bow to pressure from such individuals, encouraging him to guarantee that the conduct of the polls are fair.
The group made particular reference to alleged moves by some powerful individuals within the ranks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the inconclusive governorship election in Kano State.
The group, under the auspices of Concerned Kano Citizens (CKC), said the shocking outcome of the governorship election was caused by Governor Abdullahi Umaru Ganduje’s poor performances and the corruption that had dogged the APC-led government in Kano State.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Alhaji Mohammed Yusuf, is leading in the yet to be concluded poll with a margin of 26,513 votes.
In a letter dated March 15, 2019 and signed by its Chairperson, Hajia Amina Bambado, and Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq, from Washington DC, and made available to newsmen in Adi Ekiti at the weekend, the group reminded President Buhari that he would continue to wield enormous influences and control in Kano whether or not the APC wins the northern state.
“Our fear had been that President Muhammadu Buhari would lose more supporters in Kano if he deploys federal might to rig the election.
“It baffles us that President Buhari and APC could allow governor Ganduje to seek reelection in spite of that video evidence that confirmed how he had been collecting kickbacks running into several millions of dollars from contractors.
“The leadership of the party in Lagos, led by APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, prevented governor Akinwumi Ambode, who committed lesser offences, from going for second term. Why this disparity?
“Winning election in Kano could have been easy for APC if the right person was fielded. You could see how they supported President Buhari, this was because of his personality and he will continue to enjoy that support.
“We have seen how some governors and APC leaders have been plotting to use Osun strategy in Kano, this will fail. The will of the people should not be allowed to be subverted,” the group insisted.
The concerned citizens added that President Buhari should do all within his powers to ensure that adequate security is provided to thwart vote-buying, voter intimidation or rigging in any guise.
“He should also call the APC national chairman, Com. Adams Oshiomhole, to order and advise him to desist from interfering in Kano’s politics. We cannot be muzzled to follow the script of power play aimed at 2023 elections. Let voters exercise their franchise and vote on the March 23 and whoever wins be declared without delay,” the group advised.
It added that: “As concerned Kano citizens, we felt duty bound to call the attention of Mr President, the International community and all well-meaning Nigerians that any attempt to impose the current government against the wish of the people will not augur well for our democracy and could lead to unwanted development.
“If Mr President could sacrifice his integrity on corruption drive for the sake of Ganduje, instead of strengthening it by punishing him, we don’t believe a single loss of life in Kano because of Ganduje is worth it.
“We humbly demand Mr President to reciprocate our gesture for being his defenders through thick and thin, to save Kano and our politics in the most trying time of our political history and allow us vote freely for whoever we like,” it concluded.