President Muhammadu Buhari has again pledged to leave a legacy of credible elections in the country.
He also said having more women and youths participate in the electoral process in the 2023 general elections is one of his heart desires.
Mr Buhari said this in his Independence Day nationwide broadcast on Saturday.
The Independence day broadcast is the president’s last because he is leaving office in May when he will complete his second term in office.
Mr Buhari said he has resolved to bequeathe a sustainable democratic culture to the country, noting that it was the reason for signing the 2022 Electoral Act.
He stated that his experience at the poll explains his determination to improve the process.
Mr Buhar contested the 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential elections but lost but lost to former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
He, however, won the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections.
“It is for this reason that I have resolved to bequeath a sustainable democratic culture, which will remain lasting. The signing of the Electoral Act 2021 as amended with landmark provisions further assures us of a more transparent and inclusive Electoral Process.
“Having witnessed at close quarters, the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration,” the president said.
He pointed to the recent stand-alone elections across the country as evidence of his commitment to free, fair, and credible elections.
“You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states (notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun) and a few federal constituencies have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting,” he said.
Mr Buhari urged politicians to avoid hate speech and focus on issues-based campaign ahead of the election
The president also admonished youth to avoid being used by politicians to mar the nation’s democratic process.
He said his desire is to see youth and women participate in the political process.
“I also want to express my wish that we see more female and youth participation in the forth-coming electoral cycle,” he said. “I am sure that our teeming and energetic youths now realise that violence generally mar elections and so should desist from being used by politicians for this purpose,” he said.
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