Don’t rig 2019 election – Junaid Muhammed warns Presidency

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By Ayo Fadimu

A frontline politician and top notch of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Dr Junaid Muhammed has warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to attempt to rig the outcome of 2019 presidential election as this will lead to total breakup of the country.

In an exclusive interview with Nigerian NewsDirect, Muhammed said it would be very disastrous if the presidency contemplated on rigging the outcome of the elections if it did not favour it.

President Muhammadu Buhari had defeated the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election which was hotly contested. After his loss at the poll, Jonathan called Buhari and conceded defeat.

But Muhammed, who was once a die-hard supporter of Buhari before he turned to his arch-critic lamented that the performance of President  Buhari had been woefully below expectation.

“President Buhari has not performed at all, his performance is a great let down to many of his supporters, infact, he massively underperformed” Junaid stated.

However, he advised the President to replan his policies so as to win the heart of the electorate rather than to listen to some of his aides who are bent on using the power of incumbency which the President enjoys to rig the outcome of the elections.

“Nigerians will resist such move, we have passed era of dirty politics” he added.

Muhammed also advised money bags to keep their money because money can no longer buy conscience of Nigerians during election again.

On the-yet-to-be announced intention of former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to vie for presidency, Dr Muhammed cautioned the foremost APC leader from allowing his personal ambition to override national interest.

Although he applauded both Tinubu and Buhari for forging a new party which was strong enough to wrestle power from an incumbent president, he said the poor performance of Buhari had made mockery of the struggle.

“Yes, the two men formed a party which was devoid of religious and  ethnic sentiments but had primary focus of winning election which it successfully did but sadly, the delivery of the promises are poor, Nigerians are fed up with this government” Muhammed said.  He continued, “For those who say Tinubu should succeed Buhari in office, let me say this, it may not work because Nigerians are fed up” he insisted.

The independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed the 2019 presidential election on February 16 while governorship election will follow two weeks later.

President Buhari is yet to publicly declare his intention to seek re-election next year but last week, governors elected under his party, APC under the aegis of Progressive Governors Forum led by Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha endorsed Buhari for second term (as was reported earlier in the week by Nigerian NewsDirect).

A former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi was reported to have retained his position as Director General of the campaign organization. The head of the secretariat of the campaign office during the 2015 election, Hadiza Bala Usman, currently, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority was at the villa during the weekend to see the President.

Efforts to get reaction of the two senior media aides of the President was unsuccessful as text messages sent to them were not replied as at the time of filing this report but a chieftain of APC who spoke on condition of anonymity described Muhammed as a rabble rouser  who intends to blackmail President Buhari.

“His antics are well known to Nigerians. He is an enemy of progress. Nigerians know that President Buhari is too decent to involve himself in such dirty politics” he said.

“Go and write it down, President Buhari will defeat any opponent presented by the opposition next year with the widest margin ever in the history of presidential election in Nigeria” he boasted.

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