There is no iota of doubt that this Year’s New Year address by President Muhammadu Buhari may not be significantly different from previous addresses. Traditionally, such presidential addresses contain goodwill messages, reviewing the previous year and projecting plans for the future. 2019 is a year with a great difference. It is the fourth and last year in the life of the present government at the state and national levels and most importantly, it is a year of election into the next republic and dispensation of civil governments and various politicians into various positions.
It, according to President Buhari, offers an opportunity for thanks giving, stocktaking of challenges and successes and further reflection on goals and targets set for the coming year. With more than 50 political parties contesting various positions in the legislative and executive arms of governments, it is now a final crucial campaign period.
What is of interest in the pledge by the President for a second term in office in less than two months from now is the assurance and reiteration that he will oversee the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in the country. As an elder statesman, democrat, nationalist, patriot and father of the nation, President Buhari is of the strong belief that ‘elections need not to be a do or die affair’.
It is very encouraging that the President is committed to not only free, fair and credible elections but also its peaceful conduct. He does not intend to use force, intimidation, buying of votes or other strange and undemocratic tactics to win election at all costs like we witnessed in 2015.
In this regard one needs to emphasise full compliance of the peace pact the Presidential candidates and the National Chairmen of the political parties have signed with the General Abdulsalami Abubakar Peace committee towards ensuring peaceful and non violence conduct of the elections come February 16th 2019.
Violence will not in any way help anyone but will rather regrettably result in deaths, destruction of properties and moat likely displacement of people. President Buhari while soliciting for the votes of Nigerians to renew his mandate as was done massively in 2015; appreciated the support and cooperation of all in the past three and a half years of his stewardship of the country. He further invites all and sundry to re-dedicate themselves to the vision of a Nigeria that works for all.