Former Information minister, Labaran Maku, has dismissed power of incumbency as a major factor for winning election in Nigeria.
He said Nigerian politicians use power of incumbency to rig elections.
Maku, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State, said the incumbent governor, Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not be a threat to his ambition to govern the state in2023.
The aspirant said this at the weekend in Abuja after submitting his nomination forms at the PDP national secretariat.
Maku advocated free and fair elections as the only way to curb election rigging or abuse of incumbency power.
On the incumbent governor factor, he said: When you have free and fair elections, a lot of incumbents will collapse. The incumbent factor in Nigeria is driven by election rigging. It’s not driven by performance. Journalists here can testify to that.
“Incumbency in Nigeria is often driven by the process to rig elections. Government prefers to rig an election rather than win election. That is where it is.
“In terms of performance, I can tell you very clearly that I don’t know about others but in Nasarawa state, incumbency will be a major disadvantage now. Because incumbency means you are performed and the people love what you have done.
“Once a sitting government has not performed, the incumbency becomes a disadvantage. And I think that is where we are in Nasarawa particularly”.
Speaking on performance of Gov. Sule, he said: “I know that if God gives us a chance in these elections, if elections are free and fair, you will see that this factor of incompetence, as far as Nasarawa is concerned is it right a disadvantage because there is no performance.
“There is no major development that has taken place in Nasarawa State and I believe that PDP will not even need to say anything. When we have that ticket, people can see the gap between us and what has happened subsequently.
“So incumbency in Nasarawa in 2023, really be at our own advantage, where people can see the government can see the competence, can see lack of performance, and then there’ll be no reason for them not to vote, a current opposition party, led by people who are experienced to address the problems of the state.
“In addition to this. Yes, PDP has revived, people have been collaborating, and has come up. You can check that during the last local government elections organized by the state because sometimes you have to use what has happened to prove.
“There was local government election organized in Nasarawa State last year and the result was so bad for the government that they abandoned the ballot papers and wrote different results”, he said.