By Biola Adebayo
President, Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said the 2019 general election is not a do-or-die affair and reinstated his promise of a free and fair poll.
Buhari, in his New Year message to Nigeria, said the the dawn of a New Year was also a time to look forward, to consider new prospects, unfold plans, and prepare for landmark dates and events.
“2019 will be an election year for us. In about two months, the polls are due, and we will elect leaders into various offices, at national and state levels. As I welcome you into 2019, I also reiterate my many promises and declarations that the general elections will be free, fair and credible.
“Elections need not be do or die affair, and we should not approach that eventuality in a democracy with trepidation and mortal fear. Happily, a large number of presidential candidates have committed to peace, and peace we shall have.
“Those who continue to trumpet falsehood and negativity are on their own, fighting a losing battle. The greater number of Nigerians are trusting and believing that we shall deliver on our promises for a level playing field at the polls, and that is what we shall do.
“Nigerians desire peace, security, prosperity, inclusiveness and infrastructural development, a nation they can be proud of, a country that can hold its own among the nations,” he said.
According him, “That is the journey we have embarked on since we came on board in 2015, and we are not distracted as we move on. We are resolved to build a country in which the resources are utilized for the benefit of the largest number, and not appropriated by a privileged few in their never ending quest to satisfy their greed. We are on this mission together, and I assure you of a firm commitment to the ideals of a safe, secure, fair, just and prosperous country.
“We have had our challenges: security, economic, political, social. But we are resolved to combat and overcome them all. I appreciate your support and collaboration in previous years, and look forward to same in 2019, and beyond, as I hope you will renew the mandate you overwhelmingly gave us in 2015, for another term.”
Buhari said his government was motivated by nothing other than service to motherland, and service without selfishness or personal interest, saying that he could assure Nigerians that all “that we are making steady and sustainable progress in all areas of national life. Those who are unbiased can see and appreciate the progress the country has made since 2015.
“A New Year provides