The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the February 25 election, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, yesterday chided President Muhammadu Buhari for his complacency in the election which produced Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the president- elect. He also blamed the former Lagos State governor for the present political crisis in the country.
Kwankwaso, who spoke at the National Executive Committee meeting of the party, said nobody can rule without the consent of the people. Kwankwaso, who spoke at the venue of the NEC meeting with other NEC members in Abuja, accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of stifling democratic governance. He said: “People against democratic tenets are people who have enjoyed democracy.
“They have benefited more from democracy but are working against institutionalization of democracy. We are concerned how the election went. “The security agents didn’t do much. Those asking people to go to court know that the courts are their homes.” Accusing the president of complacency, he said: “Everything ends on the table of Mr. President. If he wanted a free, fair and credible election, he would have gotten it.
He just looked the other side and the criminals took over. Nobody is celebrating the victory of the elections, except Kano and Abia states.” Speaking at the first post 2023 election meeting of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC), the former Minister of Defence and two-time governor of Kano State lamented that Nigerians were not allowed to enjoy the “positive change” they were looking for. He also explained that Nigerians “don’t like the ruling party,” as he maintained that the APC resorted to “vote buying with local and foreign currency and use of thugs to violently” clinch electoral mandates. Senator Kwankwaso specifically called out the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, who he accused of importing thugs from neighbouring states and countries; while he further pointed accusing fingers at some security agents for their complicity in election related violence. While accusing politicians of deliberately impoverishing Nigerians to buy them over during elections, he warned against the win at all cost syndrome, as he bemoaned that unfair treatment and injustice created banditry, Boko Haram, and other crises bedevilling the country. The NNPP national leader regretted that “there are so many things wrong with Nigeria’s democracy. Those hitting hard on democracy are beneficiaries of the process”. While warning that: “Nigeria belongs to all of us and nobody should think they’ve more sticks to fight”, the opposition leader expressed hope that the judiciary would “be the better place for us all” This is as he called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve its processes in the conduct of future elections, lamenting that the party’s logo was poorly printed on ballot papers hence disenfranchising its supporters in some areas. He disclosed that even some international observers who were in the country to monitor the exercise could not decipher the party’s logo on the papers. Accordingly, he commended the party for their achievements, revealing that more people are pushing to join it before the 2027 poll. In his remarks earlier, the NNPP’s National Chairman, Rufai Alkali, revealed that besides producing a governor- elect, the party won two Senatorial seats and other positions at the House of Representatives. He reiterated that while “the 2023 presidential election has come and gone but it has left behind a trail of anger, bitterness and uncertainty with many unanswered questions agitating for answers. “In my view, for anybody to have legitimate authority in this country, he must have political victory, legal victory, and moral victory.”