Odumakin insists things have worsened, faults Buhari’s electoral promises

A former spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Yinka Odumakin, has faulted the promises made by the President to improve the nation’s electoral process.
During an interview on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, he insisted that rather than any development to take place, the situation has worsened.
His words: “Rather than having reforms, we have had more deformities of the electoral process; vote buying has become a culture.”

President Buhari had assured Nigerians on different occasions that he remained committed to free and fair general elections in 2019.
The latest was the promise he made in his Christmas message in which he said, “My avowed commitment to free, fair, credible and violence-free polls is not a ruse or yet another vain political promise. My word is my bond.”

“With general elections around the corner and heightened political activities across the country, I have charged our security and law enforcement agencies to secure the sanctity of the ballot box and ensure that the outcome of the polls reflects the will of the Nigerian people.”
Odumakin, however, said that he would not advise the people to take the words seriously but focus more on President Buhari’s actions.
He stressed that having contested for presidency thrice before his victory in 2015, he expected the President to be true to his electoral promises.
“We had thought that if he comes to power, things are going to improve,” President Buhari’s former spokesperson said.

“But in the last three and a half years, not one thing has been done to improve our electoral process. In fact, things have gotten worsened.”

Odumakin Insists Things Have Worsened, Faults Buhari’s Electoral Promises

Mr Yinka Odumakin

Odumakin said he expected his former principal to set up in motion a process that would lead to electoral reforms.

He, therefore, challenged the President to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, if he was really committed to fulfiling his promises.

A Democrat
A lawyer, Mr Daniel Bwala, swiftly countered the claims by Odumakin, saying President Buhari has remained a man of integrity.
He said, “Merry Christmas to Nigerians and in sharp disagreement with Mr Odumakin, I think that on the contrary President Buhari has shown to the world that he is more a democrat than all these other politicians put together.”
Bwala said the President proved this in his political party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) – where he allowed due process and refused to interfere with the affairs of the party.
Another way he highlighted was a situation in which the President had to relinquish power to his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, whenever he travelled out of the country for a long time.
“President Buhari has even demonstrated in plenty places where there had been elections in the past, that he believes in the due process of law; he believes in the political process,” the lawyer insisted.
Bwala said while the President might have made one mistake or the other, he is better than his critics in so many ways.

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