President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his avowed determination to ensure the conduct of free, fair and transparent national elections, whose outcome would be largely accepted to the contestants.
He has told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that he doesn’t want any excuses on the conduct of the 2023 elections.
Buhari said he had ensured that all resources needed for the elections are made available.
The president spoke in Washington DC on Friday at an interactive session entitled, “A conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria”.
While responding to a question on the readiness of INEC to conduct the 2023 elections, the president said: “INEC is ready because I made sure they were given all the resources they asked because I don’t want any excuses that they were denied funds by the government.
“Since 2015, the conduct of our elections continues to steadily improve. From the 2019 general election, the by-elections and the off-season elections in Edo, Ekiti, Anambra and Osun states were conducted in largely improved contexts to the satisfaction of contestants and voters.
“That is what we hope for in 2023. Through the observatory roles of the international community, the credibility of the elections can be further enhanced to make the acceptability of the outcome to the contestants and political parties a non-issue.”
On democracy in West Africa, Buhari said Nigeria would “aggressively work together to improve the quality of governance in the West African sub-Region, where the survival of democracy, is currently challenged.”
He said that this could be done through targeted investments that can enhance dividends of democracy and creations of robust means of livelihood for the people as well as promote accountability and transparency by the political class.
Buhari said: “I call on all of you here present, to continue to partner with us and our electoral body, for the needed collaborative efforts which are critical to deepening and stabilising democracy in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
“The recent reversals witnessed in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea are most unfortunate indeed and ECOWAS continues to effectively remain engaged with these countries.
“This is in order to restore democracy to all the Member-States of ECOWAS as indeed the entire African Continent.”