Buhari Vows Not Interfere With The 2023 General Elections, Reads Riot Act To Security Operatives To Eliminate Terrorists

By Lateef Adegbite

  President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General has vowed not to interfere with the 2023, general elections. Some of the aspirants may have declared their Presidential bid because of the Katsina state born Nigerian President earlier remarks during an interview with Channels Television last March that he has a favoured Presidential Candidate that would take over from him after the 2023 general elections but had kept it a closely guided secret to avoid the person been eliminated, according to him.

Between March and now, the retired army General may have realised that it is impossible to interfere with the 2023, general elections because of the passage of the 2022 Electoral Act which may have forced to do a rethink.Omo Agege, the Deputy Senate President, who has declared his governorship ambition in the south-south state of Delta  in the 2023 general elections had told those that cares to listen that ‘’the 2022 Electoral Act was enacted by the National Assembly and duly signed into Law by the Nigerian President to forestall vote buying and rigging  during the elections.

  The Deputy Senate President had said that that ‘’the introduction of the modal system of voting would ‘’foster transparency as well as ensure a fair and credible electoral process for the forthcoming 2023 general elections’’. He noted that using the advanced technology in voting in the 2023 general elections, would make ‘’the peoples’ vote to count as vote is a product of accreditation’’, meaning that no vote will be counted useless’’.      

As a prelude to the planned conduct of the 2023 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, under the close watch of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, all the APC, Presidential aspirants who had expected to be Buhari’s favoured Candidate to take over form him after 2023, had visited him at the State House to seek his approval to enter into the 2023, Presidential race.

 The roll call:  Aswaju, Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and APC, National Leader, Bello Yahaya, governor of Kogi state, Dave Umahi, governor of the south east of Eboyi, Senator Rochas Okorocha a former governor of Imo state, Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and minister of Transportation and Yemi Osin bajo, the Vice President, had discussed their Presidential bid with him.

 The latest entrant in the 2023 Presidential race on the ticket of the APC, Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state and Chairman, Nigerian Governor’ Forum, NGF, was said to have have followed the footstep of those who had earlier declared their Presidential bid before him to visit the Nigerian President at the Presidential Villa ‘‘to sought his counsel, guidance and support’’.

Even those who were said to be undecided about their Presidential ambition were said to have been encouraged to declare their Presidential bid in the 2023, general elections. One of them was Ben Ayande, a Professor and governor of Cross river state.  Another was Goodluck Jonathan, a former Nigerian President on ticket of the PDP, who is under pressure from APC quarters  to join the ruling party, and pick the Expression of Interest and nomination Forms which is pegged at N50 million each by Senator Abdullahi Adamu –led National Working Committee, NWC.

Indeed, the N100 million demanded by Senator Adamu –led NWC, of the APC from each of the Presidential aspirants to buy, the Expression of Interest and nomination forms at N50 million each may have put some of the aspirants in a state of confusion as the Nigerian President had made it clear to those that cares to listen that he will not ‘’interfere with the 2023, general elections’’.

At present, of the 20 APC, Presidential aspirants, who were said to have got the nod of the Nigerian President to seek the office to take over from him after the 2023, general elections on the Platform of the APC,only  Tinubu, Yahaya, Umahi, and Okorocha, were said to have bought the forms, showing their seriousness.

The Adamu led APC , NWC, was said to have sent a message to the other aspirants yet to obtain the Expression of Interest and nomination forms to do so or they may not participate in the party primaries as the sale of  forms will end on Friday, May 8, 2022.

The Nigerian President may have further put confusion in the mind of the APC,  Presidential aspirants  who had expected that the party will retain power after the 2023, general  elections, when he said  in his Eid-ul Fitr message to Nigerians last April, that he will ‘’hand over power to whoever Nigerians have elected in the 2023 general elections’’. He had repeatedly said that he will abide with the outcome of the 2023 Presidential election’’ stressing his willingness ‘’ to accept anybody elected by Nigerians’’.  

This may have dampened the enthusiasms of Amaechi, the minister of Transportation who had taken a Chieftaincy title in Daura,  Buhari home town, and other APC Presidential aspirants who had expected to win his support  to raise  N100 million to buy the Expression of Interest or nomination forms.  

While the Opposition PDP, Presidential aspirants are traversing the nooks and crannies of the country to reach out to their party delegates, against its upcoming  primaries, the ruling APC, aspirants are said to be busy running around  the Presidency, and the traditional rulers to receive royal blessings instead of taking a cue from their PDP Counterparts to sell their manifestos.

Wike: Meet With PDP Delegates In Katsina State

Take for instance, Nyensom Wike, governor of Rivers state and one of the PDP, Presidential aspirants , who had said that he ‘’supports the agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and not their violence’’, was in Katsina state  to seek the support of the PDP delegates in the party  upcoming party Presidential primaries.

 It is instructive to note that asPDP Presidential hopefuls from the southern part of the country had flooded the north to seek the support of the party delegates, Aminu Tmbuwal, governor of Sokoto state and   other northern PDP Presidential Candidates have besieged the southern part of the country to sell their manifesto to party delegates to win their support.

At a recent meeting with the PDP delegates in PortHarcourt, Capital of Rivers state, Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambara state and one of the PDP Presidential aspirants had told them that what ‘’Nigerians are suffering today is a ‘’cumulative effect of many years of Leadership failure’’, noting that ‘’if nothing is done fast to address the problem, ‘’the country could be classified as a failed state’’.

The PDP Presidential aspirant who could not hide his feelings had said that a ‘’country that suffers a high level of insecurity and cannot manage its economy properly is already experiencing some signs of a failed state’’

Lt.Gen. Yahaya: CoAS

Indeed, the Nigerian President may have known that the high level of insecurity in the country may be the main electioneering Campaign issue in the 2023 general elections that he had read the riot Act to the security agencies Chiefs to find the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP including Bandits Group fighters, in their forest hideout in the north east, north west and north central state of Niger, and eliminate them. 

Farouk Yhaya, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, CoAS, may have taken the message to the Commander and troops of the Operation Hadarin Daji operating in the north western states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Katsina, including Niger, home state of Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General and former military President ‘’to eliminate the terrorists and other criminal elements operating in the region’’.

The eastern flank of Sokoto state has been an epic centre for bandit activities that has caused ‘’the destruction of lives and property’’.  The Army Chief may have alluded to the retired Army General’s when he remarked that Isa, and Sabon Birni Local government Areas of amfara, described as home of the Bandits is ‘’strategic in the fight against bandits and terrorists operating in the north west geo-political region.

In a related development, Usman Akali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, was said has deployed four Choppers of the Force for enhanced aerial  surveillance   and patrol the entire country  ‘’to  ensure adequate security  for all and sungry’’.      

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