Babangida Aliyu, former governor of Niger state, says Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will win the 2019 election if there is no rigging.
Aliyu said this at an interactive session with reporters in Kaduna on Sunday.
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to remain neutral in order to guarantee free, fair and peaceful elections.
The former governor asked security agencies not allow themselves to be used to undermine democracy.
“Believe me, not only in my state, I believe that if the elections are free and fair, if there is no rigging, if the security agencies are not used against our party, we will make it. We will win,” he said.
“Atiku will defeat Buhari squarely.”
While speaking on the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the electoral act amendment bill, the former governor said the national assembly could override the president.
“If the national assembly feels very strongly, they should be able to over-ride the veto,” he noted.
“But if it will create problems for the moment, we can wait. I understand that some of the conditions the president gave was that the electoral act could start with the next election and not this particular one.
“But I think that we need to be careful under his watch, to make sure that we don’t have any problem with the 2019 elections.
“In 2015, we understand what happened and everybody rallied round, even though the difference in the votes was not much, given the population of voters in the country.
“But if the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is not signed by the president and not over ridden by the national assembly, then it means we will use the old law and we will have no basis for asking anybody whether card reader has been used or not.
“We appeal to the president either to reconsider his position or appeal to the national assembly to look at it again.”