From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his commitment to free, fair and credible elections in 2023, saying it remains the only way to deepen the country’s democracy.
He said the success of the 2023 polls would set the right example for the rest of Africa, and hopefully, stop coup d’etats in the continent.
Africa has come under severe criticism following military take overs of democratically elected governments in Chad, Mali, Guinea Bissa, Burkina Faso and Sudan.
Buhari, who spoke, yesterday, at the 16th Edition of the Nigerian National Diaspora Day celebration 2022 said Nigeria was making progress in its democracy and that he would ensure smooth transition of power to the next government in 2023.
The Diaspora Day, the 4th to be hosted by Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), had as its theme: “Diaspora engagement in global challenging times for national development.”
Buhari, represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, acknowledged the contribution of the diaspora, including direct remittances worth $20 billion in 2021, to the country’s economic development.
“As you are all aware that the processes to our national elections in 2023 have continued to progress smoothly and consistent with the laws of our land and our Constitution.
“I have repeatedly assured of my personal commitment, as well as that of my administration to ensuring that the processes continue to be transparent, to be credible, to be free and fair, leading to a smooth elections and transmission, transition to the next government. This is the only way we can deepen democracy in Nigeria, and set the right example for the rest of Africa and hopefully, stop the recourse to unconstitutional change in government in our sub region and other parts of the African continent.”
Buhari, hailed the over 17 million Nigerians in the diaspora, stressing that this year’s theme “Diaspora engagement in global challenging times for national development” was apt for the celebration, “considering our experiences with COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing Russian Ukrainian war and the insecurity we were experiencing, not only in Nigeria, but across the globe.”