Free, fair polls elicit confidence in government, Buhari tells Commonwealth scribe


People have more confidence in a government they have elected in free and fair polls, than one that wangles its way into office through artifice and subterfuge, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday told Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland.

The Commonwealth scribe had paid a courtesy visit to President Buhari at State House, Abuja, after attending the signing of the Peace Accord at the International Conference Centre.

“One Nigeria is non-negotiable,” the President said. “Over two million people died in the civil war we fought, and when people elect their own government through a free and fair process, they have more confidence in such government. We will not spare any effort to organize credible polls, and people should come out and vote for their choices,” he added.

President Buhari expressed pleasure that the Commonwealth was showing keen interest in the Nigerian election, appreciating Rt. Hon. Scotland for coming all the way to be a part of what would engender free and fair polls.

The Secretary-General described Nigeria as “a treasured member of the Commonwealth family,” adding that the signing of the Peace Accord would lead to better voter turnout, “as they would have seen the commitment to peace by all the main actors.”

She commended what she described as President Buhari’s “calmness and good humour,” even as the polls approach, stressing: “When Nigeria is healthy, vibrant and strong, the whole of Africa is strengthened.”

Rt. Hon. Scotland also lauded “the energetic way” the President has pursued issues of security and anti-corruption, pledging that the Commonwealth stands ready to assist Nigeria at all times.


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