President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria’s democracy is improving steadily with deeper understanding of the culture and tenets among the people, and strengthening of the institutions that guarantee free and fair elections.
Femi Adesina, the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity in a statement in Abuja, said Buhari stated this when he received Governor-General of Canada, Rt. Hon. Julie Payette, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari said he saw the evolving strength of democracy in the country by contesting for elections three times before winning at the fourth trial in 2015.
The president told the visiting governor-general that Nigeria had been learning from the mistakes of those who practiced democracy for a longer period, and by looking inward at its own peculiarities.
He said: “I emphasise free and fair elections at all times.”
According to him, the bilateral relations with Canada will continue to be improved considering the huge interest of the country in Nigeria and growing economic ties, with many Nigerians schooling and working in the country.
President Buhari said Canada played a brotherly role in helping displaced persons in the North East, following Boko Haram insurgency.
In her remarks, the governor-general said Nigeria and Canada enjoyed a warm and strong partnership that had translated into ease of migration, large trade relations and cultural exchanges.
Payette, who is an astronaut, said it was important for nations to pool resources together to start exploring the benefits of space in providing solutions to some problems on earth.
The governor-general noted that the world would achieve more by de-emphasizing geographical differences and refocusing its energy on the commonality of humanity, pointing out that from space one could only see an earth without borders.
She said her visit was about showcasing “youth, innovation and technology’’, adding that Canada would like to partner with Nigeria in the ongoing diversification of the economy.
She added: “We wish you free and credible elections in 2019.”