Nigeria’s Democracy Now Truly Mature — Buhari Says Over 2023 Polls
2 months ago
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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday observed that the remarkable passion towards democracy exhibited by Nigerians through the choices they made in the Presidential, National Assembly and the subsequent Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, is an indication that Nigeria’s democracy has truly matured.
He said given the chance of a free and fair election as well as non-interference as was witnessed in elections, citizens proved to be capable of deciding who leads them without anyone telling them what to do.
President Buhari was speaking at a farewell meeting with the outgoing United States Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity quoted him ad saying: “People are realising their power. Given the chance of a free and fair vote, nobody can tell them what to do. I am unhappy that some candidates lost the election.
But I am inspired by the fact that voters were able to make their own decision, to decide who won and who lost. With the currency change, there was no money to spread around but even then, I told voters to take the money and vote according to their consciences.”
He said he was completely satisfied with his role in the election process staying above it, without meddle someness or any form of interference.
The President commended the outgoing Ambassador for the enormous achievements recorded in Nigeria-US relations in the three-and-half years she had been here.
He chronicled several challenges faced by Nigeria as the country strives to unite our diverse communities and achieve national development and expressed his appreciation of the way the United States can hold together as a nation. He expressed the hope that Nigeria will continue to make progress in building a nation out of our different &competitive communities. He added that he enjoyed working with the Ambassador and wished that she had more time to serve here.
In an answer to a question posed by Ambassador Leonard, President Buhari said he planned to be a “big landlord” back at home, working his farms and tending his more than 300 animals. “I am eager to go,” said the President.
In her remarks, the American Ambassador said she was happy with the progress made in Nigeria-US relations in these three–and–half years, specifically citing the recent institution of a five-year visa regime between the two countries; active collaboration in security and the supply of military hardware including warplanes and the soon-to-come fighter helicopters; and also cooperation in the health sector to fight HIV and Covid response, giving assurances that US will continue to assist in the strengthening of Nigeria’s health sector.
Ambassador Leonard expressed her gratitude and that of the US government for the continuing role of the President in ensuring regional security and strengthening democracy as a system of government, citing his strong response against the recent surge of coups-d’état in West Africa as worthy of commendation.
She expressed hope that even as he is preparing to leave, there are still a few more things the President could do, among which she mentioned, the urgent need to remove fuel subsidies.
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