Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why he ensured free and fair gubernatorial election in Edo State on September 19, 2020.
According to him, he wants Nigerians to appreciate that he respects them and that he is bound by the oath he took, that their security is in the hands of God and in the hands of the government, which he is leading.
He spoke on Friday when he received in audience Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State who led his Deputy, Philip Shuaibu and other party supporters to the State House on a thank-you-visit.
In a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said that his single desire is to make sure that innocent Nigerians don’t suffer regardless of party affiliation.
President Buhari said: “I thank you for bringing your deputy and supporters to come and see me after beating my party. I am supposed to preside over all Nigerian interests whether I like it or not, but my single desire is to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer. That message I got across to the Inspector General of Police, that elections must be free and fair.”
He added, “If contestants have too much money and they decide to spray, so be it. But what I insist is, nobody should go and raise a counter force to the government, arm heavily-drugged thugs to go and humiliate people.”
The President also stressed that, “I want Nigerians to appreciate that I respect them as Nigerians and that I am bound by the oath I have taken, that their security is in the hands of God and in the hands of the government, which I am leading.” Buhari noted that as the leader of the governing party, and despite the fact that the party has lost some states in elections, he wishes to leave behind a political culture based on integrity.
“We have lost states across the country. Now I do not like to escape the responsibility, seeing as the leader of the country, I am also the leader of my party, that I am not leading the party very well. I am trying to make sure that the party is built on a civilised basis, rule of law and respect for human rights .”