President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Nigerians to get their Permanent Voters Card and vote anybody they want, ahead of the 2019 general elections
He was speaking at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday night while breaking Ramadan fast with members of the judiciary led by a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.
Buhari, who said technology aided his election victory in 2015, was responding to a remark by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alfa Belgore.
The president said he kept appealing to state governors to embark on voters’ education so that citizens could regard their PVCs as their national card.
“I find it necessary to invite you because I don’t normally see you. I’ve to repeat what I said having heard what you said. I mentioned that when I was in the military and much younger, we believed things were going wrong and so when I came, I took from the president downwards, to Kirikiri against your advice and told them that they are guilty until they prove themselves innocent. But we proceeded to have various tribunals to investigate and I can still remember extremely good and fantastic Nigerians, they’re few in the society that is why we don’t see the impact of fantastic people we’ve.
“I decided to put on agbada and come back, I tried three times and then fourth time I eventually made it. Thanks to God and thanks to technology because this Permanent Voters Card and card readers are fantastic. Those who went to their polling booths in their constituency and voted, their votes counted.
“Before, votes were disregarded and results written and there was nothing you can do before the Justices to proof your case. But now with technology it has been made easy. That is why I keep appealing to the governors to embark on voters’ education, to please tell the people that their voters card is their national card so to speak.
“Let them vote for anybody they want across ethnicity and religion and impose their decisions on them. I think that is why I am calling on and I am begging the governors to please continue with voters’ education so that people will take their permanent voters card seriously and make sure that they don’t lose it.
“I am bothering you with this because you are in a position of influence and you come from a constituency that is recognized and what you say will mean a lot to the people at your constituency,” Buhari said.
Earlier, Belgore had affirmed that Buhari loved the country very much.
The former CJN said President Buhari only needed good people around him.
He said: “I have always respected the president as a person. He loves this country very much. Because of that, what he needs always is to have very good people around him.
“The economy is down all over Africa so if we have any other problem now, it’s just a child’s play with what is happening in other countries. I pray that this country will continue to develop under you. God will continue to guide you right and the country will be very very strong. We are holding another election next year.”