Mbasekei Martin-Obono, Executive Director of Tap Nitiative for Citizens’ Development has branded President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to conduct a credible election in 2019 as being ‘lip service’.
President Buhari had assured the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Theresa May, that the country’s 2019 elections would be free and fair during her visit to Nigeria.
Reacting, Martin-Obono posited that recent occurrences in the country have shown that Buhari only deceived the Prime Minister.
He said, “events have shown that the president is only paying lip service to the Prime Minister as the government consistently displays a high level of intolerance towards opposition voices, civil society organizations and journalists”.
The Executive Director of Tap Nitiative for Citizens’ Development also expressed concern stating that 2019 elections are destined to fail because of the fear of insecurity and rigging.
Martin-Obono also criticized the President for saying that national interest should be placed above rule of law while maintaining that members of the opposition are being victimized.
He also noted that the Buhari’s led administration has completely ignored the constitution that says that state resources should not be used to fund election but that clearly played out in recent elections in the country.
“In the most recent elections under this administration, state resources have been used to procure votes especially in Ekiti, Imo, Edo, Bauchi among others, contrary to section 138 (1) Electoral Act 2010.
Martin-Obono urged President Buhari to respect the constitution and ensure opposition parties are not sniffed out of politics.
He further called on international bodies to keenly observe the country’s 2019 elections as it would ensure the country abide by rule of law and fairness during the election.
“We also call on friends of Nigeria and the international community to pay close attention to the 2019 general elections and help rescue Nigeria from imminent danger of an election coloured with indices of unfairness and violation of rules.”