President Muhammadu Buhari will not interfere in the duties of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), his campaign organisation has said.
The director-general of the organisation, Chibuike Amaechi, stated this on Thursday when he played host to a delegation of the European Union (EU).
The claim by Amaechi is also a reaction to claims by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the Presidency was conniving with the electoral body on how to rig the 2019 general election to the favour of the president and his party the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Last week, INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu met President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff (COS) Abba Kyari, behind closed doors.
The duo did not address the media on the purpose of their meeting.
Critics are of the opinion that the meeting was held to strategize on how to rig next year’s election.
“One assurance I will give you today is that we’ll stand by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and we will stand by whatever decision they make. We believe that we promised Nigerians change and I also believe that you can observe the change,” Amaechi told the delegation.
“The assurance I will give you from President Buhari Campaign Organisation is that there will be no interference by the president. We’ll play by the rules and whatever the campaign team needs to do to ensure that the election is transparent, we will do. We’ll also ensure that the election is such that Nigerians will be proud of, and we hope that the rest who are contesting in other parties will also take the same position,” he added.
Earlier, Ketil Karlsen, head of the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said the EU would partner with Nigerians to organise credible polls in 2019.
He noted that the EU, was only concerned about the best electoral practices for Nigeria.
“We look forward to a good collaboration on this occasion of the 2019 general elections. We have had election observers in Nigeria for all general elections since 1999,” Karlsen said.
“For the EU, we really do not have any preferred candidate, we don’t have any preferred political party, we don’t promote any particular ideology in Nigeria. We are very concerned about having the best possible process in the country. We want to see free, fair, credible and peaceful election. So this is why we have invested not only our time but also a lot of European tax payers’ money on engaging with all the Nigerian stakeholders since 1999.
“We have spent more than one hundred million Euros in giving support for electoral process. So currently, we support INEC, we support the national assembly, we support intra-party democracy and we support all stakeholders.”