President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday pointed out the fact that the desperation of politicians is one of the reasons impeding free and fair elections in Nigeria.
He, however, said he was determined to ensure free and fair elections in the country during his administration.
Buhari, in his Independence Day broadcast to the nation, said he was a firm believer in transparent, free, fair, and credible elections as had been demonstrated during his period as a democratically elected President.
“The recent build-up and eventual outcome of the Edo State elections should encourage Nigerians that it is my commitment to bequeath to this country processes and procedures that would guarantee that the people’s votes count.
“The problems with our electoral process are mainly human-induced as the desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office.
“Democracy, the world over and as I am pursuing in Nigeria, recognizes the power of the people. However, if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights,” he said.
Buhari stated that this call “is made more urgent if we realize that even after a transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.
“It is necessary to, therefore support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary. Fellow Nigerians, our history has shown that we are a people that have the capacity to live peacefully with one another.”
The president added that “as a government, we remain committed to our constitutional oath of securing the lives and properties of the citizenry. I, however, call on the citizenry to also support the government by providing the necessary community-level intelligence in addressing these challenges.”