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June 12: Buhari Vows Free, Free Election in 2023

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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his concern over the unabating security challenges being experienced across the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his concern over the unabating security challenges being experienced across the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari promised to ensure a “free, fair, and transparent electoral process” in next year’s federal elections.

Buhari gave the commitment during his 2022 Democracy Day speech on Sunday.

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According to him, this would be a fitting tribute to the late MKO Abiola, the widely acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

The President also urged political parties, candidates, and voters not to treat the elections as a “do-or-die” situation, noting that democracy is about the majority’s will, and hence “there must be winners and losers.”

He said, “Fellow Nigerians, this is my last Democracy Day speech as your President. By June 12, 2023, exactly one year from today, you will already have a new President. I remain committed and determined to ensure that the new President is elected through a peaceful and transparent process.

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“It is important for all of us to remember that June 12, 2023 will be exactly 30 years from the 1993 Presidential elections. In honour and memory of one of our national heroes of democracy, Chief M.K.O Abiola, GCFR, we must all work together to ensure this transition is done in a peaceful manner. I am hopeful that we can achieve this.

“The signs so far are positive. Recently, all registered political parties conducted primaries to select their candidates for the 2023 general elections. These primaries were peaceful and orderly. Those who won were magnanimous in their victories. Those who lost were gracious in defeat. And those aggrieved opted to seek judicial justice as opposed to jungle justice.

“I followed the party primaries closely from the state level to the presidential level. I was very impressed to see across all the political parties that most candidates ran issue-based campaigns. The language and tone throughout were on the whole measured and controlled.

“I am promising you a free, fair and transparent electoral process. And I am pleading with all citizens to come together and work with government to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.”

The President also claimed that his government had made “major investments to modernize and enhance the country’s election laws, procedures, and processes to safeguard votes” over the last seven years.

While stating that his government was doing all possible to defend the country and its residents, Buhari also encouraged Nigerians to do their part, stating that security services could not carry the load alone.

He added, “On this special day, I want us all to put all victims of terrorist activities in our thoughts and prayers. I am living daily with the grief and worry for all those victims and prisoners of terrorism and kidnapping. The security agencies and I are doing all we can to free those unfortunate countrymen and countrywomen safely.

“If we all unite, we will be victorious against these agents of terror and destruction. I will conclude this Democracy Day speech, my last as President, by assuring you of my commitment to protect Nigeria and Nigerians from all enemies from within and outside.”


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