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    Saturday, 26 May 2018

    Jonathan to Buhari: Don’t rig Ekiti poll for APC


    Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against rigging the July 14 Ekiti State governorship election for his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
    Jonathan said based on the experience he had during his time in the Presidency, there would be pressures from certain quarters for an incumbent President to rig election for his party.
    To the Bayelsa State-born statesman, if a free and fair election is conducted in Ekiti State, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) joint ticket of Prof. Kolapo Olusola and Mr. Ayodeji Ogunsakin, would coast home to victory.
    He said their victory would be made possible by the performance of Governor Ayo Fayose whom he described as an “exemplary leader and a loyal party man.”
    The ex-President spoke Friday night shortly he inaugurated the 1.3 kilometer Ado-Ekiti Flyover where an all-night party was held with fireworks lighting up the skyline. He had earlier in the day witnessed the inauguration of the new Governor’s Office.
    Jonathan also lamented that the Fulani herdsmen crisis and the depreciating value of the Naira have turned Nigeria to a butt of joke and ridicule in the international community.
    He urged Buhari to protect his good name by allowing the conduct of free, fair and transparent governorship poll in Ekiti and resist the temptation to use the state machinery to rig in favour of the APC.
    Jonathan said: “I don’t believe anybody can defeat the PDP in Ekiti if election is going to be held. I want to advise President Buhari not to deploy power to truncate Ekiti election.
    “I use this opportunity to call on Mr. President because I was there before. When you are there, there is so much pressure on you to use your power to subjugate democracy.
    “Don’t do that because when you are going; the only thing you leave behind is your good name. If you use it wrongly, posterity will haunt you. I call on Mr. President to use his power to strengthen democracy.
    “Though as a president, you have the power but don’t do that because of posterity. History will record whatever you do and the power of a leader is determined after leaving office and not when he is in the office.
    “The will of the people must be allowed to stand at all times, because power belongs to them and we must respect their verdict through the ballots.”
    On the alleged negative image of Nigeria, Jonathan said he was ashamed that Nigeria is now being used as a negative example in the international community.
    He cited recent instances when the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, mocked the poor state of security in Nigeria and the naira’s weakening status.
    Jonathan added: “He (Akufo-Addo) said Ghana is not like Nigeria where cattle roam the streets. At another occasion in the United Kingdom, he made scathing remarks about Nigeria’s currency.
    “I feel ashamed as a former President that the president of a neighbouring country used Nigeria as negative examples.
    “If a neighbouring African president will use Nigeria to make negative examples, then we as leaders must know certain things are wrong in the country. That means we as leaders must change the way we do things.”
    The former President, therefore, urged Nigerian leaders to show serious concern, noting that many things had gone wrong in the country.
    Jonathan also defended Nigerian youths, saying they were one of the best in the world and should not be branded lazy as recently remarked by Buhari.
    “We must encourage young people to work hard. I don’t think Nigerian youths are lazy, I have worked with some of them in my cabinet as governor and president. Nigerian youths are great people with intelligence,” he said.
    Fayose said the 77-member election committee raised by the APC for the Ekiti governorship election showed the desperation of the party to win at all costs.
    “I will defeat them by the grace of God,” he said.
    Fayose declared that he would land in Abuja Presidential Villa at the end of his tenure while Olusola will continue with his legacies in Ekiti as governor.

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