OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has said constituents in the country which choose to bargain off their rights during elections should be ready for the denial of their rights.

The president whose remark comes on the heels of growing criticisms over his administration’s lopsided appointments, which has favoured his core Northern constituency, argued that democracy all over the world recognizes the power of the people, but that “if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights.”

Buhari who made the remark in his speech on Thursday on the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary, restated his administration’s commitment to free and fair election, citing the recent governorship election in Edo State as an example of such commitment.

“I am a firm believer in transparent, free, fair and credible elections as has been demonstrated during my period as a democratically elected President,” he said.

“The recent build-up and eventual outcome of the Edo State elections should encourage Nigerians that it is my commitment to bequeath to this country processes and procedures that would guarantee that the people’s votes count.

“The problems with our electoral process are mainly human induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office.

“Democracy, the world over and as I am pursuing in Nigeria, recognizes the power of the people. However, if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights

“This call is made more urgent if we realise that even after a transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.

“It is necessary to, therefore support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary.”