2023: Buhari vows to protect votes, warns global community against interference

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has cautioned against foreign interference in the 2023 general elections in the country, just as he assured of his commitment to ensure that votes count.

Buhari who gave the warning at the State House in Abuja during an iftar dinner with members of the Diplomatic Corps, said he is committed to bequeathing a legacy of credible elections.

“As you’re all aware, the tenure of this Administration ends on 29th May, 2023. Typical of election years all over the world, the tempo of political activities is often high,” he said.

‘‘That’s the nature of democracy. I’m committed to bequeathing a stronger culture of credible elections to Nigeria than I met.

‘‘As Nigeria goes through this trajectory, I urge our friends in the global community, represented by you the Diplomatic Corps, to adopt a positive role that reinforces the doctrine of respect for our internal affairs and respect for facts and devoid of pre-conceived notions and bias.”

Buhari vowed to use every legitimate means to protect Nigerians’ votes during the 2023 general elections.

According to him, those planning to rig the elections should think twice “because I intend to resolutely protect and defend the sacred will of the Nigerian people, to be expressed through the ballot box.”

On the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Buhari called for greater consideration for humanitarian conditions in the affected areas.

He warned that the conflict would get worse if an immediate resolution was not found.

He welcomed the recent initiative of UN Secretary-General, Antonio Gutteres, of visiting Moscow and Kyiv, commending his efforts in search of a ceasefire, as a prelude to other enduring solutions.

He urged the world, especially the Muslim community, to use the solemn and rewarding month of Ramadan, and especially these last days of the fast, to intensify prayers for de-escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and for the return of peace to the world.

On COVID-19, Buhari restated Nigeria’s demand for vaccine equity and waiver of patents for manufacturing vaccines and approved drugs to treat the highly infectious disease.

He said the country would continue to expand its capacities for managing the pandemic.

On regional security, he told the diplomats that the impact of the Libyan crisis on the countries in the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, West and Central Africa was still enormous and catastrophic.

He expressed concern on the free circulation of small and light arms in these regions, made worse by the uncontrolled expulsion of foreign fighters from Libya without adequate consultations with the countries of the region.

On the fight against Boko Haram, Buhari said, ‘‘As you know well, Nigeria has made significant progress in combating the Boko Haram group in the North East.

‘‘We’re, however, recently confronted with new tactics deployed by the enemy to threaten our democratic values as well as the common peace and freedom we enjoy in this country.’’

Buhari, according Daily Trust, expressed confidence that the security situation would soon be brought under control.

He acknowledged the support of Nigeria’s friends and partners in the global community, particularly the European Union and the United States, ‘‘for their understanding, support and agreement to allow us to procure vital equipment and resources to successfully propagate this war.’’

The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and High Commissioner of Cameroon to Nigeria, Ibrahima Salaheddine, said the international community would continue to support Nigeria before, during and after the 2023 general elections.



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