President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the nation that his administration will always promote free and fair elections, explaining that the bedrock of democracy remains sustenance of the multi-party structure, with trust from citizens.
While speaking during an interactive session with some Nigerians in Paris, France, on Wednesday, the president noted that results from elections since he assumed office had been a mixed bag, with the people’s choice playing out, promising to keep the template that had brought more credibility to the electoral process.
Buhari said: “Free and fair election is a great concern. In the last elections, our party lost in some elections and it reflects our position of non-interference.
“Normally, those in power would win by hook or by crook. We believe in free and fair elections. I have respect for Nigerians to choose their leaders. We have shown we respect our citizens by allowing them to choose their leaders.
“We gave instructions to security to deal with anyone who uses thugs to disrupt electoral processes. What I can assure you is that you can walk about and around with your head raised high that this administration is committed to multi-party system.”
He said he had watched Nigerians spend long hours in campaigns listening to candidates since 2003, 2007, 2011 when he contested elections and lost, and 2015 and 2019 presidential elections, which he won.
“Nigerians deserve respect. I have suffered before, so I know what it means. My duty is to serve Nigeria and Nigerians with all my heart. I assure that in spite of the ill luck, with drop in resources, we will do our best,” he added.
The president said his administration has invested in the agricultural sector – with visible results, explaining that the policy on border closure to neighbouring countries was to protect the economy and improve security.
On security, President Buhari said all the service chiefs were changed in order to inject new energy and ideas into protecting the country, and were also given clear targets and timelines.
“We will educate people to develop our country. Our greatest resources are our people and educating them is a priority,” he added.
In his remarks, the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Kayode Ibrahim Laro, appreciated the President for always creating time to interact with Nigerians, describing him as the “most friendly president to Nigerians in diaspora.”