By Martins Odeh
Abuja – The Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) on Wednesday reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s acceptance of N45-Expression of Interest and Nomination forms donation from a group of professionals did not contravene any law.
Presidential aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the aegis of “Coalition of 2019 APC Aspirants’’ had asked the president to reject the offer, claiming that it violated the Electoral Act.
The coalition had noted that the gesture from the Consolidation Ambassador Network (NCAN) had particularly violated Section 91(9) of the Act.
But, Malam Gidado Ibrahim, BCO’s Director of Communications and Strategy, said in a statement in Abuja that the criticism was laughable.
According to him, the president has not contravened any provisions of the Electoral Act.
“The statement issued on behalf of APC presidential aspirants by Dr SKC Ogbonnia, Chief Charles Udeogaranya and Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, criticising the president for accepting the forms bought for him was mischievous and miscalculated,’’ he said.
Ibrahim, therefore, urged Nigerians to ignore the outburst by the APC aspirants, describing it as the “ranting’’ of anti-democratic elements in the country’s political space.
“The Buhari Campaign Organisation wishes to ask Nigerians, and indeed, the teeming supporters of Buhari not to be distracted by the purported group of the APC presidential aspirants.
“The President Buhari we know and who Nigerians know further and better is highly law-abiding and always wishes to act in accordance with all provisions of the extant laws of the country.
“Buhari is not known to be going zigzag or cutting corners in any matter. Rather, he is highly straightforward and upright in his private or official conduct.
“Section 91 (9) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) relied by the aggrieved persons states that an individual or other entity shall not donate more than N1 million to any candidate.
“It is imperative to note that the APC has yet to select its presidential candidate for the 2019 presidential election; Buhari is still an aspirant.
“He was, however, offered presidential nomination form and not any cash worth over N1 million,’’ Ibrahim said.
On the call for the country’s restructuring, Ibrahim urged Nigerians not to be gullible, adding that advocates of restructuring had ulterior motive not in tandem with national interest.
He said those advocating for the restructuring were mostly politicians who had the opportunity to improve the fortunes of the country but decided to squander it instead.
“President Buhari is already restructuring by halting unnecessary stealing of the nation’s patrimony, preparing to re-issue oil blocs to capable developers, especially to people from that region suffering from environmental degradation.
“The president is irked by the wide gap between the rich and the poor and he is determined to narrow that gap at all cost,’’ Ibrahim said.
He assured Nigerians that Buhari would ensure that the right things were done irrespective of their consequences to his aspiration.
Ibrahim said that the president had vowed to conduct the 2019 general elections in line with the rule of law.
According to him, the mounting suspicious against the president’s readiness to ensure a free, fair and credible election should be extinguished.
“It is noteworthy that Buhari is going into the 2019 elections as an incumbent enjoying the support of a lot more governors, senators, House of Representatives members, House of Assembly members and local government chairmen.
“Equally, the odds are no more stacked up against the president as he will see to true free and fair elections as witnessed in elections conducted in the last three years.
“We expect the soaring popularity of the president to be reflected in the 2019 elections,’’ Ibrahim said.