President Muhammadu Buhari with the Special Representative of UN SEC-GEN on West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambers, and President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou, at the State House in Abuja on October 29, 2018.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government is making its best effort to deliver on its promises to Nigerians, with the resources at its disposal.
According to him, even the opposition has not been able to fault their campaign objectives of securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption, on which the 2015 elections were run.
“The opposition has not succeeded in faulting us. We are doing our best with the resources available to us,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
President Buhari made the remarks while receiving members of the Joint United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS Good Offices Mission on Elections at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He told the delegation that Nigeria has left that era in which democratic norms were brazenly subverted, with votes awarded to those favoured by the authorities and the shortchanged told to go to court if they were not happy.
“I am highly qualified to talk on this, having ended in Supreme Court three times, after participating in elections with disputed results,” the President said.
He asked, “Where will a man looking for where his next meal would come from, have money to hire lawyers, particularly senior advocates, (go)?”
Ahead of the 2019 elections, President Buhari assured Nigerians that the polls would be free and fair, stressing that only the will of the electorate would be upheld.
He said, “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.”
The President thanked the joint team for being in touch with the nation’s institutions, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to him, multi-party democracy gives lots of choice to the people and Nigeria has a vibrant young population who trust the government to handle their affairs and resources well.
President of ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou, told President Buhari that the team was on a solidarity visit to Nigeria ahead of the elections, as it did with other countries like Senegal, Mali, The Gambia, and others which recently held polls.
He appreciated the strong role Nigeria plays in the sub-region and commended the President for his strides in the fight against corruption and terrorism.
Speaking on behalf of the UN, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas 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,” Dr Chambas added.