BMO hails Buhari’s neutrality in states’ elections

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), says President Muhammadu Buhari would bequeath a robust democratic space that Nigerians would be proud of before leaving office.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, on Tuesday in Abuja, BMO said Buhari did not go out of his way to ensure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) got undue advantage in the elections.

According to BMO, this is obvious from Buhari’s deliberate non-interference at the just-concluded Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.

“It is unthinkable that a ruling party in Nigeria will 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 states level at all cost, regardless of the people’s will,’’ BMO said.

It said Buhari has shown himself to be different in spite of what his perennial critics wanted Nigerians to believe.

“Here is a man who won by 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 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 (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr Seyi Makinde by a wide margin without the President making any effort to influence the outcome,” it noted.

The group said Buhari deserves credit for his principled stand.

It recalled how previous leaders used federal might to retain states in which their candidates lost, saying Buhari has shown that he is a statesman with a different mindset.

The BMO pointed out the President’s non-interference showed that he is a true democrat that keeps to his words.

It added that it is on record that Buhari once told Nigerians that they were free to vote for political parties of their choice ahead of the elections.

This, it noted was at a time key APC members were openly expressing support for governorship candidates on the platform of other political parties.

It said it’s therefore, not surprising that the results so far announced by INEC largely reflected the will of the people, regardless of whether APC won or not.

The BMO stressed that the era where elements of the ruling party would be given protection to write results is gone.

It recalled that in 2007, results for governorship election in at least one state was announced in Abuja, even when collation has not been completed in the state.

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