President Muhammadu Buhari has assured West African elders and the general public that his administration would not allow any form of manipulation in the conduct of the forthcoming 2023 general elections. Buhari gave the assurance yesterday at State House while playing host to West African Elders Forum Pre-Election Mediation Mission, led by former Sierra Leonean President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. According to a release by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President thanked the elders for accepting to do the service for the sub-region.
He cited the off-season elections held in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States, as pointer to the fact that the Federal Government would allow people to choose leaders they want. Buhari said: “That right is guaranteed. We are settling down, and making progress. People should vote whoever they want, in whatever party.
“We shall not allow anyone to use money and thugs to intimidate the people. “Nigerians know better now, they are wiser, and know that it is better to dialogue than to carry weapons. Elections are even more difficult to rig now.” Former President Koroma, who led a team made of Fatoumata Tambajang, former Vice President of The Gambia, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, former Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, and Ann Iyonu, Executive Director of Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, said they had met with stakeholders across the parties, civil society, and Independent National Electoral Commission, among others, “and we commend you for making it clear both locally and internationally that the elections would be free and fair.”