President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted meeting with the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and some officials but claimed it was only for five minutes.
He denied trying to influence the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states as alleged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr. Olisa Metuh, spokesman of the PDP, had said in a statement, “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been made aware and hereby informs Nigerians of clandestine meetings involving the presidency, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and some security forces wherein the agencies were ordered to use official and unofficial means necessary to ensure victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21 Kogi governorship election,”. But Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, said the PDP was only being “mischievous”.
“The president called the meeting cited by the PDP to warn, in particular, the INEC and the police to do prepare and give the nation a credible election. He said he expected nothing short of a free, fair and credible election.
“He said he had suffered election manipulation in 2003, 2007 and 2011 and would not like to have any Nigerian to go through that again.
“He warned against the intimidation of voters in any way and vowed that he was prepared to move with all the forces available to him against anyone who undermines the rights of any citizen.
“The meeting was short and straight to the point. It ended after five minutes. He asked Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo if he had anything to say and he added nothing. Nigerians should be wary of the PDP’s fruitless attempts to destroy national institutions President Buhari is determined to rebuild.
“They started with the courts, the EFCC, then the police and now they are on the one-week old INEC. When will PDP allow our national institutions to do their job?”