Free, Fair Election Is Great Concern, Our Position Of Non-Interference Remains Same – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the government’s commitment to free and fair elections will be followed through in future elections,

He said that the bedrock of democracy remains sustenance of the multi-party structure, with trust from citizens.

In an interactive session with some Nigerians in Paris, France, on Wednesday, the President noted that results from elections since he assumed office had been a mixed bag, with the people’s choice playing out, promising to keep the template that had brought more credibility to the electoral process.

President Muhammadu Buhari addresses Nigerians living in France


“Free and fair election is a great concern. In the last elections, our party lost in some elections and it reflects our position of non-interference.

“Normally those in power will win by hook or by crook. We believe in free and fair elections. I have respect for Nigerians to choose their leaders. We have shown we respect our citizens by allowing them to choose their leaders.

“We gave instructions to security to deal with anyone who uses thugs to disrupt electoral processes. What I can assure you is that you can walk about and around with your head raised high that this administration is committed to a multi-party system,’’ he said.

President Buhari said he had watched Nigerians spend long hours in campaigns listening to candidates since 2003, 2007, 2011, when he contested elections and lost, and the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections, which he won.


“Nigerians deserve respect. I have suffered before, so I know what it means. My duty is to serve Nigeria and Nigerians with all my heart. I assure you that in spite of the ill-luck, with drop-in resources, we will do our best,’’ he added.

The President said investments had been channeled into the agricultural sector, with visible results, explaining that the policy on border closure to neighbouring countries was to protect the economy and improve security.

“The future of Nigeria is in agriculture,’’ he noted.

On security, President Buhari said all the service chiefs were changed in order to inject new energy and ideas into protecting the country, adding that the security chiefs were also given clear targets and timelines.

“We will educate people to develop our country. Our greatest resources are our people and educating them is a priority,’’ the President added.

In his remarks, Nigerian Ambassador to France, Kayode Ibrahim Laro, appreciated the President for always creating time to interact with Nigerians, describing him as the “most friendly President to Nigerians in diaspora’’.

At the meeting, Nigerians in Paris raised issues with the President on security, voting in elections, economy and education.

Civil Society Group Faults Credibility Of Edo Governorship Elections

Edo-Elections-ACEThe Alliance for Credible Elections, (ACE), a civil society organisation, has expressed its dissatisfaction with the conduct of the September 28 governorship election which took place in Edo state.

The group claimed that the election was far from being free, fair and credible.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the acting General Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Mma Odi, said that there was generally no secrecy in voting, as people voted in the full glare of party agents despite the presence of security agents.

Mrs Odi, while presenting the report of the observation of the election by the Alliance for Democracy, added that there was a form of subtle intimidation of voters aided by open sale of votes for cash.

The group also criticised the delay in the collation of votes which commenced late in the evening despite elections being concluded by 2:00 p.m. local time in most of the polling units across the state.

Smooth Elections

The concerns pointed out by the General Secretary of the group, however, contradict initial comments by several observers who stated that the polls went on smoothly.

INEC National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, had said that the electoral process went on as expected while INEC officials and security agents worked professionally to ensure it was hitch free.

Furthermore, a poll on the performance of INEC in the election initiated by Channels Television on Twitter had over 5,000 Twitter users participating.

Thirty per cent of the people rated INEC’S performance in the election as excellent while another 30 per cent said it was fair.

Twenty-six per cent rated it poor and another 14% were indifferent.

The election finally came to a close with INEC announcing Godwin Obaseki as the governor-elect of Edo state to take over from Governor Adams Oshiomhole who has ruled the state for nearly eight-year.

After the result was announced, however, aggrieved members of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) alleged inducement of voters and collaboration of INEC and the state government to doctor the results in favour of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PDP has said it would go to Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the election, but the APC denied inducing voters and said the PDP was a bad loser.

Ekwunife, Ikeazor Seek APC Ticket For Anambra Central Senatorial Election

AnambraThe All Progressives Congress (APC) have assured aspirants vying for the Anambra Central Senatorial zone a free, fair and credible primary election in the state.

Two women are now struggling for the seat. They are; Senator Uche Ekwuinfe and the former National Women Leader of the APC, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor.

While assuring the candidates of a level playing field, the state Chairman of the party, Mr Emeka Ibe, urged them to ensure a corruption-free contest.

The contestants maintained that their participation in the election, especially the Anambra Central Senatorial election, had many implications, but all tilted towards improving both the quality of and attitude towards election in Nigeria.

The election is scheduled to hold on February 23.

Mrs Ekwunife had won the previous election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  but a court nullified her victory.

After the court’s judgement, she defected to the APC.

Mrs Ekwunife, in an interview with Channels Television on January 8, said she defected because the PDP’s senatorial primaries were shifted indefinitely in protest of the arrest of the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh.

APC, PDP In War Of Words Over Plan To Rig Elections

Lai MohammedThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised very strong allegations against the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying PDP is planning to rig the general elections.

At a press conference in Lagos State on Wednesday, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mr Lai Mohammed, alleged that the PDP had concluded plans to pay huge sums of money into the bank account of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, to taint him so as to remove him from office.

“Ongoing Plan To Sack Professor Jega”

The APC spokesman also alleged that the ruling party had employed the services of two Isrealies and a Belgian, who are Information Technology Specialists, to hack INEC’s systems to rig the polls.

“The handwriting is clear. This administration knows that it cannot win in a free, fair and credible election, because of its appalling record in office. Nigerians want change through the ballot box and they are determined to effect that change with their permanent voter cards.

“There is a plot to transfer a humongous amount of money into the account of the INEC chairman and then claim that the money came from Mr Bola Tinubu and the APC in order to justify the ongoing plan to sack Professor Attahiru Jega so he won’t organise the election,” Mr Mohammed said.

PDP Says Claims Not True

Mr Femi Fani-kayode says the APC is capable of doing what it accuses the PDP of.

In a swift reaction, the spokesperson for the President Jonathan campaign organisation, Mr Femi Fani-kayode, said there was no truth in the statements made by the APC’s spokesman.

He said the PDP had no plans to rig, neither does it have any motive to implicate anybody in the run up to the polls.

“It is clear that this clear that these claims and allegations are nothing but the paranoid rantings of a paranoid man working for a paranoid party.

“We Are Not Strategising”

“Rather than trying to prepare his master’s mind for the defeat that is coming their way, Lia Mohammed has come again with his verbal diarrhea.

“The truth is that we are not strategising to shift the election date . we are not trying to frame up Jega. We are not planning to do any of the other reprehensible things that they have alleged,” he said.

Since campaigns began, war of words between the two major political parties in the nation had continued to tilt towards the much condemned mudslinging.

Violence Free 2015 Is Possible – Maitama Sule

Election ViolenceElder statesman, Dr. Maitama Sule on Thursday expressed optimism that a violence-free general election in Nigeria is possible, noting that youth involvement will play a pivotal role in achieving such.

Deadly election-related and communal violence which occurred in northern Nigeria following the April 2011 presidential election left more than 800 people dead. The victims were killed in three days of rioting in 12 northern states.

Dr. Sule, who made the appeal at a lecture in Abuja on Thursday, said engaging the youths as thugs undermines the essence of democracy, advising the youths to shun thuggery in the forthcoming 2015 general elections.

He also appealed to youths to avoid activities that would incite violence, but should rather channel their energies into profitable ventures.

Although series of elections have come and gone, the effects of violence that emanated from them, leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties, linger on.

However, with barely three months to the 2015 general elections, Nigerians have begun lending their voices to the call for a free, fair and credible elections.