Nigeria: Nobody Will Intimidate Voters On Saturday, Buhari Assures

President Muhammadu Buhari.
22 February 2019

Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to come out massively tomorrow and vote for the candidates of their choice in Saturday's presidential election, assuring that nobody will intimidate them.

The President spoke on Friday in a nationwide broadcast ahead of Saturday's presidential and National Assembly elections across the country.

This is the second broadcast by the President before the sudden shift of the elections by the country's umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

President Buhari said "do not be afraid of rumours of violence and unrest. Our security agencies have worked diligently to ensure that adequate security measures are in place."

He assured voters that they will be able to perform their civic responsibilities in an atmosphere of openness and peace, devoid of fear from threats or intimidation.

He said: "International and domestic monitors and observers are assured of their safety and freedom of movement needed to perform their important functions.

"As we thank domestic monitors and observers for their contributions to our democracy, we also thank the international groups for the friendship and concern they have demonstrated to our nation," he noted.

The President appreciated the efforts of international observers in encouraging Nigeria to further entrench and strengthen its democracy.

"Tomorrow is an encounter with history in which you, the people, shall affirm your collective belief in our national greatness and in our future. I ask that you embrace and hold on to the importance of the moment soon to be upon us.

"Honour your civic duty as voters by going to the polls tomorrow to vote for the government of your choice, for the government that will lead Nigeria toward its finest destiny.

"As citizens, there is no greater duty than this and no greater honour. Tomorrow, I know you will once again make Nigeria proud of its people," Buhari stressed.

President Buhari explained that to vote means that citizens believe in Nigeria and the excellent things the future holds for the nation and its people.

According to the President, "no matter the political leanings, every citizen believe in Nigeria, in the noble principles for which it stands and in the values that people strive for the beloved nation to uphold.

"All who are able must vote so that we may better perfect this democracy and continue to build the greater nation we seek."

President Buhari commended Nigerians for their patience and peaceful conduct so far during this electoral season and especially during this intervening week following the postponement of the February 16 elections.

He said many were worried and thought the worst might happen. You proved them wrong by showing that you are a great people with an abiding love for peace, democracy and the unity of our country.

According to him, the daily INEC public briefings given this week, the Electoral Commission says it is ready and fully prepared to conduct the election in a free, fair and transparent manner.

"I believe INEC realises the profound and weighty duty that rests upon it. We must cast aside doubt and have faith that INEC will rise to the occasion. We must believe and encourage INEC to fulfil and honour this responsibility it owes to our country.

"As your President, I hereby ask all Nigerians with voting cards to participate in defining the future of our nation by exercising your democratic rights tomorrow. I urge you to go out and vote. I say this because elections are the cornerstone of representative governance. And voting constitutes the highest and best expression of the sovereign will of the people to choose the government that best represents them.

"It is only upon the freely expressed will of the people that government truly dedicated to the welfare, rights and interests of the people can be found. Do not allow anyone to discourage you from the exercise of your rights as citizens and voters tomorrow."

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