- Senator Shehu Sani said the 2019 elections will be a big test for President Buhari’s integrity
- The Kaduna Central senator said integrity is not simply about fighting corruption
- Sani added that the executive, led by President Buhari, has to give INEC full support to conduct a free and fair election
Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central at the upper legislative chamber has said the forthcoming 2019 general elections will put to test President Muhammadu Buhari’s widely acclaimed integrity.
Senator Sani made this statement in an interview with Premium Times.
Asked if he is confident that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is ready and will conduct a free and fair election, Sani said the electoral body “has no option than to conduct free and fair election.”
He, however, said conducting free and fair election goes beyond INEC alone as the electoral needs input from the executive, particularly regarding security.
His words: “2019 election will verify and scrutinize the integrity of President Buhari and his government because integrity is not simply about fighting corruption, it is about a leader and his leadership being able to observe and respect democratic principles and also comply with it.
“The INEC has no option than to conduct a free and fair election. But there are areas beyond the control of INEC. The executive controls the army, the police, the machinery and apparatus of the state. Just as the apparatus of the state can be used against the masses and political opponents, it can also be used against INEC.
“For example, INEC cannot deliver election materials without being escorted. If the executive disallows the escort, it cannot happen. We cannot have a free, fair election simply by INEC results; the government must be responsible. If the election is credible, government will share the glory. If it is rigged, government will share the blame.”
Meanwhile, the National Peace Committee headed by Nigeria's former military president, General Abdusalami Abubakar (rtd), invited the 42nd president of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, to deliver a keynote address as Nigeria's major presidential candidates sign another peace accord this week.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and incumbent President Buhari of the APC are the front-runners in the race as Nigerians go to the polls.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Sunday, February 10, the committee's head of secretariat, Rev. Fr. Atta Barkindo said the event would hold on Wednesday, February 13 at the Abuja International Conference Centre.
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