By Emmanuel Nduka
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, June 12, spoke to Nigerians in a national broadcast, to commemorate Democracy Day.
Here are three takeaways from his speech:
1. On the forthcoming elections in 2023, President Buhari guranteed free, fair and credible polls. He thus advised all stakeholders to work together to ensure that the next transition is done in a peaceful manner in honour and memory of one of the national heroes for democracy, Chief M.K.O Abiola
“I am also promising you a free, fair and transparent electoral process. And I am pleading with all citizens to come together and work with Government to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.
“I am hopeful that we can achieve this. The signs so far are positive. We must never see it as a “do or die” affair. We must all remember democracy is about the will of the majority. There must be winners and losers.
“For the voters, I am pleased to inform you that in the last seven years, our government across all tiers have made significant investments to reform and enhance our electoral laws, systems, and processes to safeguard your votes,” he said.
2. On rising insecurity across the country, Buhari said he lives with “grief” for victims of terrorism. He said the Federal Government is working hard to contain and address the challenges of insecurity and ensure that the 2023 general elections were safe and secure for all Nigerians.
“On this special day, I want us all to put all victims of terrorist activities in our thoughts and prayers. I am living daily with the grief and worry for all those victims and prisoners of terrorism and kidnapping. I and the security agencies are doing all we can to free those unfortunate countrymen and countrywomen safely.
“For those who have lost their lives, we will continue to seek justice for their families against the perpetrators. For those currently in captivity, we will not stop until they are freed, and their kidnappers are brought to justice. If we all unite, we will be victorious against these agents of terror and destruction.
“We have reformed some of our security structures. Some of the defence assets we procured three years ago have arrived and have been deployed,” the President said.
3. Buhari in his speech, also stressed that Nigerian leaders must be mindful of how they lead, as Africa looks up to Nigeria for leadership in governance.
“I will therefore take this opportunity on this very special day to ask all candidates to continue running issue-focused campaigns and to treat opponents with dignity.
“As leaders, you must all showcase high character and never forget that the world is watching us and Africa looks up to Nigeria to provide example in governance. The tone you set at the top will surely be replicated in your followers,” he added.