Breaking: Buhari vows peaceful, transparent process ahead 2023 presidential election in Democracy Day message




President Muhammadu Buhari

Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari said Sunday that he remains committed and determined to ensure that the new President is elected through a peaceful and transparent process.

The President said this in a nationwide broadcast to mark this year’s Democracy Day anniversary in honour of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.

He said in the last seven years, the present administration has made significant investments to reform the country’s electoral laws, systems and processes to safeguard electorate’s votes, stressing that the right of Nigerians to choose their government would be respected.

“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.

“As we move into the general election campaign season, we must sustain this mature attitude to campaigning and ultimately, voting. We must never see it as a “do or die” affair. We must all remember democracy is about the will of the majority. There must be winners and losers.

“I will therefore take this opportunity on this very special day to ask all candidates to continue running issue focused campaigns and to treat opponents with dignity. As leaders, you must all showcase high character and never forget that the world is watching us and Africa looks up to Nigeria to provide example in governance. The tone you set at the top will surely be replicated in your followers.

“For the voters, I am pleased to inform you that in the last 7 years, our government across all tiers, has made significant investments to reform and enhance our electoral laws, systems, and processes to safeguard your votes.

“The Executive, Legislature and Judiciary were and still remain united and committed to ensure these reforms are fully implemented in the 2023 general elections. Fellow Nigerians, your right to choose your government will be preserved and protected,” he said.

The President also expressed satisfaction with the conduct of primary elections by political parties and called on politicians and electorate to run issues-based campaigns ahead of the 2023 elections.

“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 issued based campaigns. The language and tone throughout were on the whole measured and controlled.

“Another positive that came from the 2022 party primaries was the significant increase in women and youth particularly across all parties. I was very pleased to see this development. This augurs well for the future. These trends clearly show the level of maturity our democracy has achieved in the last 23 years,” he said.

The President also spoke on the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election said to to have been won by the late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, saying that Nigerians must never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of the country’s democracy during 1993.

“In 2018, we moved Democracy Day from 29th of May to the 12th of June. This change was to remind all Nigerians of one free election after which the presumed winner along with Nigerians were denied their rights and their choice.

“On June 12th 1993, Nigerians saw the best in our citizens as we all went out to vote peacefully. By June 24th 1993, we also saw the worst of our leadership as the elections were annulled.

“We must never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of Nigeria’s democracy during 1993. Their patriotism and peaceful struggle should guide our actions especially when it comes to electing our leaders and holding them accountable, now and in future,” he said. 

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