With less than a year to the end of his eight-year tenure, President Muhammadu Buhari has promised Nigerians that his administration will conduct free, fair and transparent general elections in the country in 2023.
This, he said, would be a way to honour the memory of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, the late MKO Abiola.
Buhari disclosed this in a nationwide broadcast to mark June 12 Democracy Day on Sunday.
The President called on political parties, candidates and the electorate not to regard the elections as a do-or-die affair.
Buhari expressed his satisfaction with the primary elections conducted across various political parties ahead of next year’s general elections, saying the primaries had set the tone for peaceful polls next year.
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.
“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.”