President Muhammadu Buhari has again assured that he will ensure a peaceful and transparent process of electing a new leader when the people go to the polls in 2023.
Buhari gave the assurance while addressing the nation as part of activities lined up to commemorate this year’s Democracy Day.
This is President Buhari’s last democracy day address.
“I remain committed and determined to ensure that a new president is elected through a peaceful and transparent process,” he said.
According to the President, the signs so far are positive, especially with the primaries recently conducted by all registered political parties to select their candidates for the 2023 general elections.
He stated that while the primaries were peaceful and orderly, said those who lost were gracious in defeat while the winners have been magnanimous.
Another positive that came from the party primaries, he said, was the significant increase in the rate of participation by women and youth across all parties.
He, however, stressed the need to ensure a peaceful transition of power in 2023 in honour of the late M.K.O. Abiola.
In his June 12 democracy day speech, the President also promised to protect all Nigerians from enemies within and outside the country.
“We must never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of Nigeria’s democracy during 1993. Their patriotism and peaceful struggle should guide our actions especially when it comes to electing our leaders and holding them accountable, now and in future.
“Fellow Nigerians this is my last Democracy Day speech as your President. By June 12th, 2023, exactly one year from today, you will already have a new President. I remain committed and determined to ensure that the new President is elected through a peaceful and transparent process.
“It is important for all of us to remember that June 12th, 2023 will be exactly 30 years from the 1993 Presidential elections. In honour and memory of one of our national heroes for democracy, Chief M.K.O Abiola, GCFR, we must all work together to ensure this transition is done peacefully.
President Buhari said his administration has made significant progress in several sectors of the economy.
“I am pleased to inform you that in the last 7 years, our government across all tiers, has made significant investments to reform and enhance our electoral laws, systems, and processes to safeguard your votes.
“The Executive, Legislature and Judiciary were and 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 security, he said “I know many of us are concerned with the rise in insecurity due to terrorist activities in parts of the country. As a government, we are working hard to contain and address these challenges. And ensure that the 2023 general elections are safe and secure for all Nigerians.
“To achieve this, however, we must all contribute. It is not the job of the government alone. I ask all citizens to support and cooperate with our security agencies by reporting any suspicious characters and activities to law enforcement agencies. We can only have a safe country if we can prevent a crime, not after the crime has been committed.
“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 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.”