Amidst doubts and seaming loss of confidence arising from the last minute postponement of the February 16 presidential and National Assembly elections, President Mohammed Buhari has called on Nigerians to cast aside doubt and believe in the electoral body.
Buhari, who delivered a nationwide broadcast this Friday, assured Nigerians that INEC was ready and fully prepared to conduct the election in a free, fair and transparent manner.
“I commend all of you for your patience and peaceful conduct so far during this electoral season and especially during this intervening week following the postponement of the February 16 elections. Many were worried and thought the worst might happen. You proved them wrong by showing that you are a great people with an abiding love for peace, democracy and the unity of our country.
“According to the daily INEC public briefings given this week, the Electoral Commission says it is ready and fully prepared to conduct the election in a free, fair and transparent manner. I believe INEC realises the profound and weighty duty that rests upon it. We must cast aside doubt and have faith that INEC will rise to the occasion. We must believe and encourage INEC to fulfill and honour this responsibility it owes to our country.”
Buhari also appealed to Nigerians who are eligible, to go out with their permanent Voters Cards tomorrow and cast their votes, not minding rumours of violence surrounding the conduct of the 2019 general elections as rescheduled.
“As your President, I hereby ask all Nigerians with voting cards to participate in defining the future of our nation by exercising your democratic rights tomorrow. I urge you to go out and vote. I say this because elections are the cornerstone of representative governance. And voting constitutes the highest and best expression of the sovereign will of the people to choose the government that best represents them.
“It is only upon the freely expressed will of the people that government truly dedicated to the welfare, rights and interests of the people can be founded.
“Do not allow anyone to discourage you from the exercise of your rights as citizens and voters tomorrow. To vote means that you believe in Nigeria and the excellent things the future holds for this nation and its people.
“No matter our political leanings, we all believe in Nigeria, in the noble principles for which it stands and in the values we strive for our beloved nation to uphold. All who are able must vote so that we may better perfect this democracy and continue to build the greater nation we seek. Do not be afraid of rumours of violence and unrest.”
While emphasizing on security, The President said, “Our security agencies have worked diligently to ensure that adequate security measures are in place. You will be able to vote in an atmosphere of openness and peace, devoid of fear from threat or intimidation. International and domestic monitors and observers are assured of their safety and freedom of movement needed to perform their important functions.”