Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Obiageli Ezekwesili, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against using security officers to compromise next year’s election.
Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, warned that the use of security agents to compromise the 2019 election may “lead to danger in the country.”
She said this during a meeting with the International Republican Institute, IRI, and the National Democratic Institute, NDI, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
She said, “The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Offices must take due cognisance and avert the danger that the military and police establishments have become to our democracy as was evident in the Osun and Ekiti elections.
“The security forces must be pulled out of the co-opted involvement in our elections, which in those two gubernatorial elections disenfranchised many voters.
“Nigerians want a new direction and the President must avoid actions that suggest he wishes to suppress the aspiration of the people in the 2019 elections. Any action of the President that aims at giving him an advantage in the February elections amounts to political corruption since he is using his political power for personal gain as a candidate.”
On the challenges she is facing as a female presidential candidate, she said, “It is mixed. Some are still resistant to the idea of female political leadership. However, many more Nigerians are calling for a gender-neutral election of anyone who can solve the complex problems that matter to them.
“They say things like, ‘We know Ezekwesili’s track record when she was in government and we trust her to govern the country well. It does not matter that she is a woman. What matter is that she will get the job done’.
“Campaign finance is a major constraint for all female contestants who lack the deep pockets that their male opponents have built up in diverse manners. My campaign has innovated ways to achieve more with less. We have also maximised the use of volunteers to achieve more than our wealthy opponents.”
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