23 March 2019

Nigeria: Buhari Denies Candidate Imposition, Calls for Improved Voter Participation

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has denied claims that he imposed his preferred candidates for political offices on Nigerians during the general elections.

"I believe in the will of the people, and I cannot, therefore, put pressure on voters to elect leaders they don't like," Buhari said in a statement by presidential spokesman Garba Shehu.

Buhari, who described the rumours as baseless, said he had not at anytime given instructions that the electorate should vote a particular candidate.

The president appealed to voters to vote for the candidates they believe will deliver on promises because it is part of their "constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights."

He called on Nigerians to come out en masse and participate in the supplementary elections scheduled for 18 states on Saturday March 23, 2019.

The President assured Nigerians that he is ready to work with elected representatives of the people regardless of party platforms on which they are elected.

While thanking Nigerians for re-electing him for a second term in office, Buhari assured them that he would not forget their sacrifices in defying harsh weather conditions experienced during the elections.

"I was deeply overwhelmed by your show of incredible confidence in me, and I will never let you down. Thank you for your sincere show of support for me."

President Buhari, however, appealed to voters not to get tired of coming out to vote in the supplementary elections, adding "these elections are no less important than others before them."

Buhari also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to ensure peaceful conduct of the supplementary elections in accordance with the law and constitution.

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