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Sunday, 2 September 2018

2019: I’m not afraid of free, fair elections – Buhari

2019: I’m not afraid of free, fair elections – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari during his meeting with the Nigerian community in China.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said he was not afraid of free and fair elections in 2019.

He said as a beneficiary of credible elections, he would ensure that his administration organises free and fair elections.

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According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said this in Beijing during an interactive session he had with members of the Nigerian community in China.

Buhari is in the country to participate in the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation scheduled to hold from September 3 to 4 in Beijing.

The President promised that he would ensure that the 2019 polls, under his watch, would be free, fair and credible.

He pledged that the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agents will allow Nigerians eligible to vote in the next general elections to freely elect candidates of their choice.

He said, “I have no fear about free and fair elections because that is what brought me to the present position.

“I know what I went through and very few Nigerians could boast of trying four times (contesting for the Presidency).

“Those interested in participating in the elections must get their PVCs, register in their constituency and elect anybody of their choice across ethnicity and religion.

“The Nigerian police, law enforcement agencies and INEC must respect the right of the people to express their wishes.”

Citing recent elections in Bauchi, Katsina and Kogi States, the President said the country had made progress relative to elections conducted in the past years.

On security issues, the President reaffirmed that his government has succeeded in curtailing Boko Haram insurgents in the country.

He added that the terrorist group no longer controls any part of the country.

Buhari attributed the success to operations of security agencies deployed to counter insurgency in the North-eastern part of the country.

“You will all recall that we contested the last election basically on three issues, which includes security, especially in the North East.

“The Boko Haram used to occupy quite a number of local governments in Borno State but they are not in anyone now.

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