‘Vote APC or we will deal with you’ comment is political semantics not threat —Doguwa


 

Alhassan Doguwa, majority leader of the house of representatives, says his recent comment in Kano on who the electorate should vote for is not a threat.

 

Doguwa, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), represents Tudun Wada/Doguwa federal constituency in Kano.

 

In a video which has now gone viral, Doguwa, who was addressing some residents of Kano, said they will be “dealt with” if they don’t vote for the APC in the 2023 elections.

 

“To God who made me, on election day, you must vote for APC or we’ll deal with you,” the lawmaker said in Hausa.

 

But speaking on Tuesday when he featured on Politics Today, a programme on Channels Television, the lawmaker said the comment is “political semantics”.

 

“That is not a threat. I would never threaten our electorate. What you don’t know about Kano state [is that] Kano state is one very special political space. We have our special semantics in politics,” he said.

 

“We have the shenanigans we use during electioneering campaigns. Kano state is an aggressive state in terms of politics of ideology. In Kano state, we have our own way or approaches when it comes to campaigns. You must employ and use what will ginger your people.

 

“We have inherited this from time immemorial. Asking people to vote for APC or we deal with them simply means – like what you can call shenanigans, political brouhaha which we make simply to ‘ginger’ our supporters — to let them feel that we are on the ground and we will get it right.

 

“I never meant to intimidate; I never meant to threaten any of my voters. I’m a reasonable person. I have been in election processes for the past 32 years and I’ve never used threats or intimidation to win my elections.

 

“But you cannot take away political shenanigans, brouhaha, and sloganeering in Nigeria’s politics. Nigerians should not take this as a threat. It’s part of our political shenanigans and brouhaha. This is what we call the highlights of democracy in Kano politics and you cannot rule that out.”

 

Meanwhile, section 93 (1) of the electoral act states: “A party, candidate, aspirant, or person or group of persons 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”.

According to the electoral law, violation of the aforementioned section is an offence and attracts “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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