Borno: Hold Gov Zulum responsible for electoral violence — LP guber candidate

By: Òsárétín Òsádébàmwén, Abuja

The gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party in Borno State, Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia has raised an alarm over a comment by the executive Governor of the state, Prof. Babagana Zulum during a campaign in Southern Borno, saying such a comment is capable of causing violence during and after Saturday’s election.

Mshelia, who described the comment by governor Zulum as unhealthy campaign utterances, said the governor invited the citizens to take to violence where the All Progressives Congress (APC) losses in the Guber race come March 18th.

He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rein his party member to order and secure the lives of lives and property of the citizens.

According to Mshelia, “During his campaign in Biu, Southern Borno, which happens to be my zone, the governor was publicly inciting the citizens to take to violence should the APC candidates lose at the polls.

Mshelia said this at a press briefing in Abuja where he said he was in the race to bring succor to the Borno people by spending public resources, for public good and boost development in Education, Health, Economy etc.

“Prof. Zulum who spoke in Hausa Language said at the campaign: “during the forthcoming elections, we are voting for governorship.

“Stand up and make sure our votes are high. Let’s also have all nine seats in the State House of Assembly in Southern Borno. I don’t want anyone of them to lose.

“I am the governor; I have apologized to everyone in this zone. But I will like to tell you something, only God gives power. I don’t have the capability to give power. But I swear, in my capacity, I won’t leave anyone that will insult the traditional leaders to get into the House of Assembly.

“God gives power but if God gives them power, “Biri Mini, Kare Jini”…”

The LP gubernatorial candidate said, “I strongly condemn this statement as electoral violence can breed unimaginable consequences and a governor should not be seen to promote election violence.”

“We, therefore, call the attention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari, and all the relevant security agencies to ensure the full protection of lives and property in the coming elections by ensuring that there is a credible election, devoid of manipulations and violence.

He said “I am peace-loving and I have been running my campaigns based on real issues and not issuing threats to opposition parties like the governor has done.

“The clandestine agenda of some agents of political instability have perfected plans to turn the forthcoming elections to a battlefield and are just waiting to unleash violence.

According to Mshelia, “They think, this is the only way to railroad themselves into victory. They must be stopped.

“We have gathered on good authority, that having received the shock of their lives in the last elections, wherein the people expressed their discontent with the lingering shenanigans in governance, through their votes, those who are in government in Borno State, have chosen bloodletting as option to retain power.

“This is against the collective resolve of the people for a positive change; which the Labour Party and my candidature represent.

“I am shocked that desperation could reach a killer level of a sitting governor, resolving to step on our people’s blood to attain selfish re-election.

“It brings us to the question of whose interests are our current political leaders really protecting. I found it impossible to reason that a political office holder, with a mandate to serve the people, would contemplate murder as an option to serve.

“However, this is the sad situation we found ourselves in Borno State. The sitting governor is hell-bent on retaining power at all cost and he is not hiding his preparedness to kill maim and destroy any hindrance on his way.

“As law-abiding citizens, we have decided not to lock horns with the rejected and the desperate but rather walk the path of peace to assured victory, Mshelia stated.

Section 93 of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended on electoral violence and threats: subsection (1) “A party, candidate, aspirant, or person or group of persons shall not directly or indirectly threaten any person with the use of force or violence during any political campaign in order to compel that person or any other person to support or refrain from supporting a political party or candidate.

It continued that: (2) “Any political party, candidate, aspirant, or person or group of persons that contravenes the provisions of this section commits an offence and liable on conviction.

“In the case of a candidate, aspirant, or person or group of persons, to a maximum fine of N1,000,000 or imprisonment for a term of 12 months; and

“In the case of a political party, to a fine of N2,000,000 in the first instance, and N500,000 for any subsequent offence.”



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