‘Senate Targeting President Buhari With Election Reordering,’ – Ango Abdullahi
The leader of the Northern Elders’ Forum, NEF, Professor Ango Abdullahi has reacted to the National Assembly’s re-ordering of 2019 elections timetable.
Abdullahi speaking with The Sun said the call for reordering of the electoral sequence by the lawmakers was based on selfish reasons.
He said “They are the lawmakers and they can do it but that means that what they are doing is in their selfish interests. If they want to reorder elections, the proper thing to do is to have presidential elections, National Assembly elections, state Assembly elections and gubernatorial elections. In other words, it has to be four and not three. You can put National Assembly and state Assembly election and the presidential and gubernatorial elections together. It has to be two and not three. If you want it to be three, then there is selfishness there.
“Another one is that people think that we have had this kind of election that we are asking for before. In 1979, we had other elections before the presidential poll. In 1999, we had other elections before the presidential poll too. But all others that followed, it was always presidential before others. And do not forget that it was the period of handing over from the military to civilians, so they conducted elections in the rural areas before that of the presidential.
“There was no occasion where we had other elections before the presidential poll during civilian rule. So, what they are trying to do is to reintroduce what the military did when they were handing over to the civilian. So, if you analyse it carefully, you would see that what the NASS is doing is more of self-interests.
“But one thing that they do not really know is that they even stand more danger because a sitting president is in a position to do damage to those who want to contest elections and the governors also are in a position to do damage to all those who want to go to the National Assembly or state Assembly. The reordering of the elections would give them the opportunity to do more damage to them if they so wish. So, there is not much they think they would do. Why not let us have what we have been having. With the improvement in technology, the ideal thing is that all the elections should be held the same day.”
Speaking on National Assembly targeting President Buhari with Electoral act amendment bill, the elder statesman said it was unfortunate if the bill was targeted at Buhari.
“If it is targeted at Buhari, that is unfortunate. Buhari in 2003 had 4million votes and he was not in government and in 2007, he had 6million votes and he was not still in government and late President Umaru Yar’Adua said the election was compromised. In 2011, without a governor or even a councillor, he had 10million votes and in 2015, with the merger, he had 15million votes. And some are saying he had those votes when there was no hunger, unemployment and so on and so forth, but that is some people talking. But you cannot easily compromise your votes because of the challenges that you can easily overcome.
“In 2003, Atiku had an opportunity to work with late vice president, Alex Ekwueme. I was the media director for Ekwueme and we were already thinking of how Atiku would run with Ekwueme. But when we thought we had got far enough, Atiku changed his mind and decided to go with the devil he knew rather than the one he did not know. And when they were elected, before they were sworn in, a delegation came from Adamawa to cooperate with Atiku so that he would take over from him in 2007. That time I was writing my column ‘monitoring democracy’ and I wrote then that the first victim of Obasanjo’s reelection would be Atiku.
Buhari had on Tuesday turned down the amended Electoral Act bill in letters addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara.