Buhari, Atiku fight over vote-buying



AHEAD of the February 16 presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari has raised the alarm of alleged fresh threats to the election through vote-buying by those he said looted the treasury in the past.

The general election in the country is starting on Saturday February 16 with the presidential and National Assembly elections.

But President Buhari said reliable evidence gathered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, revealed that those who had looted Nigeria’s treasury, now with huge resources at their disposal, were planning to undermine the credibility of the election through vote buying.

The president also said it has not been an easy journey. For over three years, Nigerians gave him the mandate to pilot the affairs of the country.

However, the Campaign team of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said President Buhari’s alarm of vote-buying amounted to self-indictment because only those in power now have the capacity to buy votes.

Also the PDP said the Buhari presidency reeked of corruption and could not be said to be fighting graft.

In a statement he personally signed yesterday, the President urged Nigerians to participate massively in the forthcoming presidential election.

Buhari said: “By way of their looting, the corrupt have powerful resources at their disposal, and they will use them. For when you fight corruption, you can be sure it will fight back.

“It even threatens to undermine February’s poll and – by extension – our democracy. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has raised concerns over laundered money being funneled into vote-buying.”

The President promised to end corruption in the country if given another mandate of four years and also promised to follow due process in ensuring that the fight against corruption was fought to the end, despite the resistance from those involved in graft.

He explained that following due process in the fight against corruption was necessary to ensure that allegations never took the place of evidence

The President further said that while the government pursues the anti-corruption war, those involved in it continue to device new means of evading the law.

“This is not the sole domain of those Nigerians, but the international corruption industry, the unsavoury fellow-traveler of globalisation.

“Corruption corrodes the trust on which the idea of community is founded, because one rule for the few and another for everyone else is unacceptable to anyone working honestly.”

Reacting to President Buhari’s allegation of threats to the polls via vote-buying by looters, Mr Akin Osuntokun, spokesman of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign, said: “Unless it is another moment of his characteristic cognitive failure, then that statement has to amount to a case of self-indictment.

“Realistically speaking, who are those in the vantage position in Nigeria today to commit the malfeasance he is alluding to?

“If this President has any self-awareness, he would not have accepted Adams Oshiomhole as the leader of his campaign for re-election.

If any decent person is accused with the kind of weighty and corroborative allegations levelled against Oshiomhole, he would have sued the accuser for defamation of character-rather than hiding and wishing away the allegations.

“There is even a monument to corruption visible from any part of Nigeria erected by this man in his village. Yet this is the company in which our anti-corruption President revels in.


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