Buhari’s neutrality his way of ensuring credible polls – Lai Mohammed


Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has reacted to Wednesday’s outburst of Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai that some personalities in the presidential villa were out to frustrate the chances of the All Progressive Congress candidate in the coming general elections.

In the reaction which could pass for a direct reply, Mohammed said the President has never minced words regarding his decision to bequeath a free, fair and credible election, but one effective way of ensuring that comes to pass could be the President’s decision not to back any candidate directly.

The Information and Culture Minister said this in a briefing of State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said: “On a more serious note, one thing I can assure you is that no matter what, this administration is focused, determined to ensure a free and fair election. But I think with this administration, the most important person is Mr President and I think he has shown by words and by deeds that he is dedicated to a free, fair and credible election. And fair, free, credible elections actually mean not backing anybody.

“Everywhere he goes, he makes that very clear even as recently on Friday when he was in Daura he said the same thing. If there’s anybody working against a candidate we don’t know officially”.

Saga Gist had earlier reported how the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai while featuring on a breakfast programme on national television alleged that some forces within the presidency are working hard to ensure that the ruling party loses the 2023 elections.

He lamented that some individuals who were not favoured in the recent party primary were ganging up against the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

El-Rufai however failed to name the conspirators, alleging that they were aggrieved because Tinubu defeated their candidate in the APC presidential primaries.

He said these elements were hiding behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to do what he thinks is right.

El-Rufai said: “I believe there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries.

“They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right. I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed.”

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