Buhari Vows To Maintain ‘Non-Interference’ Policy In General Elections
President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will uphold the standard of free and fair elections by ensuring “non-interference” in the coming polls.
Speaking at the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council on Monday, he noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has consistently conducted fair elections since 2015.
“We have insisted that votes must count and have maintained a policy of non-interference in elections,” the President told APC members at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
“Let me reiterate my commitment to free and fair elections. If there is one legacy I want to leave, is the enthronement of democracy as a system of government.
“And for democracy to be enthroned, elections must be free and fair. That means citizens have a right to vote,” he added.
President Buhari informed members of the council that with about 40 days to the elections, the task before them would be enormous as they would have to cover all corners of the country to sell the progress of the party so far.
“Though we will all be deeply involved, I would like to assure the nation that I will do my part without making governance or my work suffer.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge, and he is going to be on 24-hour vigil,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu.
The President urged all those in the leadership of the campaign – in the field operations on the campaign trail and in the secretariat – to consult with Tinubu whenever guidance was needed.
He stressed the need for campaigns to be conducted with a high level of decorum and asked the council to resist all forms of provocation and remain focused as they engage citizens on issues.
President Buhari reminded them to compare the results on economy, security and corruption with past administrations led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“We have in the last three years and six months reversed this downward slide that the PDP took us in its 16 years of misrule,” he alleged.
The President added, “We have restored the territorial integrity of our nation, thanks to our gallant men and women of our armed forces. We are systematically engaged in all the remaining corridors of insurgency, kidnappings, robberies, herdsmen and farmers clashes.
“We have reset our national values; corruption is no longer condoned and is no longer seen as normal for public office holders. The agencies of government are no longer equivocal in dealing with anyone who flouts our laws.”
“The high and low are receiving jail terms, loots are being recovered, and Nigerians are increasingly displaying the timeless values of honesty, honour and decency. I congratulate us all for making these changes possible,” he told the audience at the event.
President Buhari was confident that there has been infrastructural development nationwide with prudent management of resources and the economy, pointing out roads, railways and improved power supply as signposts of a growing country.
He explained that Nigerians voted the administration into power in 2015 because of the trust and confidence that it would make a great difference.
“A victory for us as a party is a victory for all well-meaning Nigerians, who are committed to changing from an inglorious past,” the President added.
On his part, the Director General of the council and Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, said the campaigns would be properly coordinated to ensure a focus on issues, rather than sentiments.