…Says 2019 election’ll be free, fair
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari said, yesterday, that Nigeria would have gone far on infrastructure if the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s administrations between 1999 and 2014 had done something with the huge resources available to them.
President Muhammadu Buhari
This is as the President said the era of indiscriminate allocation of votes was over and assured that the 2019 elections would be free and fair.
Receiving the outgoing British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, in a farewell audience at State House, Abuja, the President said despite the humongous resources at the disposal of Nigeria between 1999 and 2014, it was sad that infrastructure went to rot completely within the same period.
President Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, said: “Our focus now is on infrastructure, roads, rail, power, and others. How I wish we had fixed all these when we had money. What we earned between 1999 and 2014 is on record, but nothing was done to infrastructure. Now, we are doing a lot more, with a lot less resources and we shall continue to do our best.”
Commending the outgoing High Commissioner for his warm and pleasant disposition, the President said: “I always see you all over the place.”
Arkwright, who spent over three years in Nigeria, said he visited 30 of the 36 states, and found the people quite enterprising and engaging, adding that the British government would be glad to offer a helping hand as required in any part of the country.
‘Nigeria has left era when votes were awarded’
Meanwhile, President Buhari has said that Nigeria has left the era in which democratic norms were brazenly subverted, with votes awarded to those favoured by the authorities, and the short changed told to go to court if they were not happy.
The President stated this while receiving members of the Joint United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS Good Offices Mission on Elections.
He said: “I am highly qualified to talk on this, having ended in Supreme Court three times, after participating in elections with disputed results. Where will a man looking for where his next meal would come from, have money to hire lawyers, particularly senior advocates?
“The President has only one vote, governors have a vote each, just like anybody else. Let the people vote for whoever they choose, without their will being tampered with.”
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou, said the team came on a solidarity visit to Nigeria before the forthcoming elections.
Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, speaking on behalf of the UN, appreciated what he called “the strong leadership of President Buhari in Nigeria, West Africa, and Africa.
“You’ve always played politics according to the rules. We will do all that we can to strengthen the institutions. We’re convinced that INEC is ready to provide free and fair elections.”