The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday in Abuja, told President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law, the Electoral Act amendment which is on his desk, if he is really interested in the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
Speaking at the inauguration of his Presidential Campaign Council on Thursday in Abuja, Atiku said that signing the Electoral Act Amendment into law was necessary because elections were governed by laws and that good laws were required to ensure credible elections.
“Such laws constrain the behaviour of all who are involved in the electoral process, including the candidates and their supporters, security agents and the electoral umpire (in this case the INEC)”, Atiku said.
Atiku predicted that the 2019 presidential election would be tough based on the desperate moves of the APC government to cling to power at all costs.
“We are facing an APC government that is desperate to cling to power at all costs, which means that this will be a tough Presidential election”, he said.
The former Vice President said it would take a focused campaign that would not take anything for granted and a campaign of eternal vigilance for victory to be guaranteed.
Atiku said that he was not surprised that the APC government was running a campaign of “personal attacks and innuendo”, which he said, was caused by the fact that party had failed to keep its promises to the Nigerian electorate.
“Having little to point to as its achievements in nearly four years in office it wants to distract the attention of our people by choosing personal attacks over issues.
“A government that has been in power for nearly its full term should be campaigning on its achievements, its record, rather than personal attacks and fresh promises it obviously will not keep.
“Nigerians know that the APC government has failed woefully. We have to continue to remind our people of that and also tell them what we will do differently to get Nigeria working again”, he said.
The Waziri Adamawa said that he had made it clear right from the beginning that his 2019 Presidential campaign would be focused on issues rather than personal attacks and therefore enjoined members of the Council to ensure that issued-based campaign was maintained.
He called on the leadership of the party to ensure that enlightened, resourceful and well-trained men and women were hired as agents at the polling stations and collation centres.
Atiku said that a campaign structure that would ensure uniformity in its operations had been put in place but added that states could set up structures that would address local peculiarities.
“However there will be no parallel structures so we can avoid confusion in our activities and our messaging. We must run a disciplined campaign that stays on message all the time”, Atiku said.
He called on the Campaign Council to establish a functional and effective Situation Room to monitor the campaigns and the electoral process itself until the last vote is counted and the results announced.