As the governorship and state house of assembly elections continue nationwide, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Saturday, in Daura, urged Nigerians to pocket monies distributed by vote-buying politicians but vote their conscience regardless.
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He also said the new naira policy has ensured a shortage of naira notes that would have been used by unscrupulous elements to influence the outcome of the elections in their favour.
“I am aware that the money is not there like before for people to sway voters like they used to do.
“And if they bring out money now, the people should pocket it, and still vote their conscience,’’ Buhari told journalists after voting at Ward A, Sarkin Yara Polling Unit, 003, in Katsina.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Saturday titled ‘Nigerians know we mean what we say, they will vote for us again, says President Buhari.’
According to Buhari, the electorate should follow their conscience in choosing the right leaders, both state executives and legislatures.
He affirmed that his regime had “diminished” the era of vote buying.
Consequently, he boasted that the All Progressives Congress will emerge victorious in the Governorship and State of Assembly elections nationwide because Nigerians know the party “means what it says, and says what it means.’’
The President noted that he was not surprised at the results of the Presidential elections on February 25, 2023, which saw Bola Tinubu emerging as President-elect, since the APC campaigns were thorough, and detailed.
“I am sure we are going to win, again,’’ he said.
He explained that the APC followed the constitutional procedure for the entire electoral process. This entails choosing a party Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, who had served as a two-term Governor in Nasarawa State, and legislator in the Senate, with an experience that will secure the electoral value and relevance of the party.
Buhari said “Nigerians trust us because we mean what we say and say what we mean. We have maintained that trust.
“We told Nigerians that we will work for them, and we have done our best in education and health facilities, and Nigerians appreciate our efforts.”
The President also lauded the media for playing a major role in empowering people with information on their rights and providing a platform for voters to challenge leaders on promises and records.
These efforts, he said, have deepened democratic culture and raised awareness among Nigerians.
“The media is doing very well in creating awareness and enabling the right conversation.
“You can hear the tough questions for leaders during interviews on TV, radio and other platforms, and the journalists always press for answers,’’ the President noted.
Buhari’s family members and aides also voted at the Ward.
Five candidates are vying to succeed Governor Aminu Masari this Saturday.
They include the All Progressives Congress candidate, Dr Umar Radda, candidate of the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Lado Darmake, Nura Khalil of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, Imrana Jino of the People’s Redemption Party and Ibrahim Zakkari, candidate of the Social Democratic Party.