PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has observed that the defection of some lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to other political parties will not harm the chances of the ruling party in future elections.
He made the declaration as he wished the defections well and expressed his total commitment to democratic ideals.
According to a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday the president was confident that “no harm or injury will be done to the party and its aspirations by the movements.”
The statement said he expressed his total commitment to the values of democracy, freedom of choice as well as total willingness to work with all members of the National Assembly, irrespective of their political party, for the benefit of the nation.
The President noted that none of the defecting federal lawmakers of the APC had any specific grievances against him or the government he leads; neither did he harbour anything against any of them.
“As the saying goes, all politics is local. We understand that some of the distinguished and honourable lawmakers have issues with their home states, especially on zoning which bars some of them from seeking another term in their constituencies,” he said.
Noting that the APC had done its utmost to stop the defections, the President commended the leadership of the party for relentlessly working for its unity and ensuring success in the upcoming elections.
Buhari assured members of the APC of his total support and urged party faithful not to despair but to see the defections as a seasonal occurrence that happens on election eve.
He wished all the decamped members the best in their future undertakings.
Meanwhile, the Presidency said it has taken note of the orchestrated campaign against President Buhari each time a Very Important Person (VIP) is invited by the law enforcement agencies, in the discharge of their legitimate duties and functions.
Following the siege on the residencies of Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, the Presidency affirmed that Buhari does not direct security agencies.
According to a separate statement also issued by Shehu, the law of the land is intended for all, not for the poor or those at the lowest rungs of the social ladder.
It said: “It is odd, strange and bizarre that while ordinary citizens can be called up to answer questions or be interrogated, the VIP cannot be questioned without the annoying insinuations of partisanship, persecution or outright politicization.
“This country cannot achieve development in peace when important cases are viewed through a political prism and the law is considered as being applicable to some, and not applicable to others.
“The workings of law enforcement agencies are set out in the constitution and the laws of the country. If they worked at the discretion of past presidents, who decided who to question and who to detain, Nigerians should get used to the fact that this President is different. President Buhari does not and will not influence or interfere with cases.
“The constitution clearly directs law enforcement agencies to promptly report and investigate any actual or potential infringement of the law and also initiate proceedings against all those involved.
“This President is not the one who directs them on what to do.
“President Buhari does not stand in the way of law enforcement either. Under our constitution, he has no powers to stop the investigation of anyone or institution. When they are set to investigate anything and anyone, the best friend of the law is the one who lets them do their work.
“The President’s constant refrain is that he will not tolerate any form of illegality including corruption and the law enforcement agencies have been given complete freedom to identify and bring all culprits to justice. His instructions to them are very clear: Anyone with a case to answer or found guilty should not be spared.
“Accused persons should approach the courts to plead their innocence rather than going to the public to plead persecution.
“The country is better served when the law enforcement agencies are allowed to do their work and we must stop the actors of this dangerous game of politicizing law enforcement.”