Obaze faults Buhari’s refusal to answer critical question at election media chat

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 18 January 2019 | 1,689 times

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• President Buhari and Osinbajo at The Candidates on Wednesday, 16th January, 2018.

The Chairman of Atiku/Obi Campaign Organisation, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, on Thursday, expressed worry over President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to respond to a pertinent question during the ‘Meet the Candidates’ programme on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

He said the President’s refusal to give a definite response to the question sent a wrong signal of what might play out in the event that he loses the February presidential election.

His words: “Like former President Goodluck Jonathan did, it would be easier for the winner to be magnanimous in victory and the loser to be gracious in accepting the result, hence I expected the president to answer the question so as to clear the air.”

Addressing journalists in Awka on Wednesday, Obaze said that PDP’s prerogative as is being concentrated in the various wards in the state is to sell the candidature of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi to the electorate.

According to him, the duo have experience in leadership and know how best to turn around the economic state of the nation to make it more viable.

He expressed hope that INEC would be fair to all by conducting a transparent, fair and credible election.

On the issue of under-age voting, the former governorship candidate of the PDP in Anambra State said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has taken care of such anomaly by expunging their names from the voters' register.

He, however, said it would be good for accreditation and voting to go independently so that the number of those who were accredited could be determined and compared against number of votes cast at a particular location.

Obaze noted: “Part of the guidelines issued by INEC on Monday remain contentious; part of it is the issue of simultaneous accreditation and voting.

“It is a challenge because if you continue to accredit and vote, at the end of the day the agents will not be sure how many people were accredited and how many people voted.

“But doing accreditation differently to a certain point will enable us to know the number of people that were accredited and the agents can sign it off and agree on it, this will protect the sanctity of the process.

“Leaving it open-ended gives room for manipulation, but we also wish to commend the expunging of the voting points.”

While saying that the speed at which the distribution is going suggests that millions of Nigerians will be able to get their PVCs to vote, the retired diplomat observed that states such as Delta, Anambra, Enugu still have work to do to ensure voters get their PVCs.

He explained that with the huge number of PVCs yet to be collected in those states, about 18 million people stand the risk of being disenfranchised.

Obaze said: “If on the average, states still have 300,000 uncollected PVCs, we are still looking at about 10-15 million who are registered but not able to get their cards; that is a substantial number.

“Hope those cards would be collected between now and the end of the distribution.”

He urged all parties in the election to shun hate speech and fake news and engage in issue-based campaigns.

Source: News Express

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