Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari reassured Nigerians of his commitment to conducting credible elections in 2023.
We tracked two other stories from the seat of power, Aso Rock Villa, within the week under review.
1. Conducting credible elections
President Buhari, on December 6, asserted that Nigerians would be free to vote for whomever they want, stressing that no one would be allowed to use money or thugs to influence the outcome of the elections next year.
According to his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, he gave the assurance when he hosted a mission led by former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, in Abuja.
“The people should vote for whomever they want, in whatever party. We shall not allow anyone to use money and thugs to intimidate the people,” Buhari said.
The President’s repeated desire to leave a legacy of free, fair and credible election as he prepares to vacate the Aso Rock Villa is one he must pursue in words and deeds.
Amidst this repeated assurances, Buhari must ensure that the right modalities are put in place, and he can lead the way by ensuring that INEC offices across the country are protected from arsonists, and other criminals.
Two other talking points
2. Rescuing babies abducted in Anambra
On December 9, President Buhari directed security agencies to rescue five new-born babies abducted by criminals at Stanley Hospital, Nkpologwu in Anambra State.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Shehu, he stated that the case must be solved immediately.
“Security at hospitals must be fool proof so that attacks of this nature do not happen again,” he said.
The bizare development highlights deepening insecurity not only in Anambra State but other parts of the country, and signals the need for the relevant agencies to step up their effort in dealing with the issue.
While Buhari’s directives have become very routine, it must be said that worsening insecurity calls for a total overhaul of the country’s security architecture.
Incidentally, the President has refused or failed woefully to initiate or tolerate a robust debate in that direction.
3. Buhari’s pledge to handover in 2023
On December 6, President Buhari, again, pledged to hand over the reins of leadership to an elected president on May 29, 2023.
Buhari made the vow while hosting the Minister of National Education of Morocco, Shakib Ben Musa, as the Special Envoy of King Mohammed the VI, in Abuja.
His spokesman, Shehu Garba, had reported the President as saying that his plans to hand over to an elected official is sacrosanct and in line with constitution.
A Buhari promise, not to submit to the constitution with regards to term limits, would, of course, be seen as recipe for disaster.
He has, no doubt, played his part, and would be acting most irresponsibly if he chooses the path of frustrating the country’s sustained experiment with democracy.
A promise to quit at the end of his tenure doesn’t really deserve accolades. It’s expected!
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