Festus Keyamo, spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection campaign, says the electoral law on purchasing nomination forms is being twisted.
Keyamo said this in reaction to criticisms trailing the purchase of a presidential nomination form for Buhari by the Nigeria Consolidation Ambassador Network (NCAN).
On Wednesday, the group presented a cheque of N45 million to Adams Oshiomhole, APC national chairman, for the purpose of buying Buhari’s form.
Critics of the gesture said it goes against section 91 (9) of the electoral act which says “no individual or other entity shall donate more than one million naira to any candidate”.
SKC Ogbonnia, a presidential aspirant in the APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had described the development as a violation of the electoral act.
In response, Keyamo said the president is still an “aspiring aspirant” and not yet a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections.
An aspirant is a person who seeks to contest an elective position under a political party while a candidate is one who has been selected by a party to bear its flag in an election against other parties.
The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) took to Twitter to absolve Buhari of any wrongdoing, describing those quoting the act as “mischievous”.
“Some mischievous persons are reading S. 91(9) of the Electoral Act upside down. The section limits CASH (not material) donations in respect of CANDIDATES to N1m. PMB is not a CANDIDATE. He’s an aspiring ASPIRANT. He becomes an ASPIRANT only when he submits his Forms to his Party,” Keyamo tweeted.
“Same people that said nothing last week when a group ‘donated’ nomination FORMS to a ‘crying’ opposition aspirant are now descending on PMB & misquoting the law. It’s more honorable to openly support a candidate of your choice than hiding behind one finger & looking ridiculous.
“The situation we have in Nig is that the REAL oppressors of the masses are struggling to pose as their saviours whilst they seek to paint the REAL saviours as the oppressors. They’re using fake news, propaganda, etc, to paint this picture. All they want is to sneak back to power.
“Some of us are prepared to be misunderstood, abused & maligned by a few for d position we have taken today about the future of our country because we see behind the scenes and WE KNOW THE TRUTH. It is better to be vindicated by posterity than to be applauded wrongly at the moment
“Let’s be clear that d present govt may not have gotten EVERY decision right or taken EVERY step right since 2015, but we urge Nigs. to put the sincerity & personal integrity of Mr. President on an overall scale against those of his opponents in 2019 and see where the scale tilts.”