President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his determination to ensure that the new president is elected through a peaceful and transparent process.
The president, in a national broadcast, to commemorate Democracy Day today, June 12, 2021, promised Nigerians a free, fair and transparent electoral process.
Buhari said all stakeholders must work together to ensure this transition was done in a peaceful manner in honour and memory of one of the national heroes for democracy, Chief M.K.O Abiola, GCFR, as June 12th, 2023 will be exactly 30 years from the annulled 1993 presidential elections.
“I am hopeful that we can achieve this. The signs so far are positive,” he said.
The president, who said June 12, marked another Democracy Day anniversary and an occasion to celebrate the freedom and unity of Nigeria, pleaded with all citizens to come together and work with the government to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.
Buhari, who expressed satisfaction over the outcome of political parties’ primaries, underscored the need to sustain the “mature attitude to campaigning and ultimately, voting” “as we move into the general election campaign season”.
“We must never see it as a “do or die” affair. We must all remember democracy is about the will of the majority. There must be winners and losers.
“I will therefore take this opportunity on this very special day to ask all candidates to continue running issue-focused campaigns and to treat opponents with dignity.
“As leaders, you must all showcase the high character and never forget that the world is watching us and Africa looks up to Nigeria to provide an example in governance. The tone you set at the top will surely be replicated in your followers.
“For the voters, I am pleased to inform you that in the last seven years, our government across all tiers have made significant investments to reform and enhance our electoral laws, systems, and processes to safeguard your votes.
“The executive, legislature and Judiciary were and still remain united and committed to ensuring these reforms are fully implemented in the 2023 general elections. Fellow Nigerians, your right to choose your government will be preserved and protected,” he said.
On the concern being expressed with the rise in insecurity due to terrorist activities in parts of the country, the president said the federal government was working hard to contain and address the challenges of insecurity and ensure that the 2023 general elections were safe and secure for all Nigerians.
Buhari said the victory against the agents of terror and destruction would be certain if all Nigerians were united.
“On this special day, I want us all to put all victims of terrorist activities in our thoughts and prayers. I am living daily with the grief and worry for all those victims and prisoners of terrorism and kidnapping. I and the security agencies are doing all we can to free those unfortunate countrymen and countrywomen safely.
“For those who have lost their lives, we will continue to seek justice for their families against the perpetrators. For those currently in captivity, we will not stop until they are freed, and their kidnappers are brought to justice. If we all unite, we will be victorious against these agents of terror and destruction.
“We have reformed some of our security structures. Some of the defence assets we procured three years ago have arrived and have been deployed.”