Atiku speaks on do-or-die elections in Nigeria

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Nigeria’s presidential election would take place next month and the country’s main opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said on Tuesday that President Muhammadu Buhari should keep his promises that the polls would not become a do-or-die affair.

His campaign office wrote

The PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar welcomes President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year message in which the President said the 2019 election should not be a do-or-die affair.

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Reacting to the President’s message in Abuja, the former Vice President said leaders should lead by example by preaching peace at all times. 

Atiku Abubakar, however, notes that it is not enough for the President to condemn do-or-die politics if he cannot control the activities of overzealous aides, including the country’s security chiefs, especially the Inspector General of Police whose activities lately gives him away as a partisan player in negation of his constitutional role.

The PDP presidential candidate advises Buhari to go beyond lip service and urge security chiefs to be politically neutral during the election, adding that their loyalty to the constitution doesn’t include putting themselves at the service of the ruling party at the expense of free and fair elections. 

Atiku also counsels President Buhari to follow the example of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who, in 2015, walked the talk of the 2015 elections not being worth the blood of any Nigerian.

According to Atiku, Jonathan lived by his noble words and statesmanship when he conceded defeat without hesitation, thereby contributing to peaceful conduct of election.

The PDP presidential candidate also reminds Buhari that it is not enough to preach peace when he cannot publicly condemn the violent behaviour of his supporters who harass, molest and publicly humiliate his opponents and their supporters.

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