President Muhammadu Buhari has made it clear that under his government, no one will be allowed to snatch ballot box and run away with it or rig election in any way during the forthcoming general elections.
The President, who spoke today, Tuesday at a meeting with traditional rulers in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and Port Harcourt, Rivers State, further assured that he is all out for free, fair and credible elections, which start this week Saturday.
President Buhari, at separate meetings with the rulers, said: “I assure you that I’m all out for free, fair and credible elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC knows my stand on this.
“Nigerians are assured of free and fair elections. Under this leadership, nobody will be allowed to intimidate other citizens. Nobody will be allowed to snatch ballot boxes and run with them. I will make sure that the votes count.”
The President Buhari commended the introduction of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and Card Reader, and advised the nation to embrace the technology, arguing that without it, the sixteen years of misrule by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would not have been brought to an end.
“In 16 years, the PDP thought nobody could remove them from office. The introduction of the PVC and Card Reader made sure that our votes counted in 2015 and the votes of Nigerians will count in 2019.”
On security issue, the President repeated his commitment to ensure the protection of lives, property and the territorial integrity of the nation, while urging the traditional rulers to play their part as expected of them.
“The question of security begins with you,” the President told the royal fathers, even as he commended them for calming down the restive situation in the Niger Delta.
“Through you, we have been able to persuade the militants to change their attitudes. I congratulate you on the roles you played that stabilized the security and the economy of the country,” he said.
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, at the reception, commended President Buhari for his statesmanship and love for the country.
On his part, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State called for a peaceful conduct of the elections.
The Chairman of the Bayelsa State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Majesty Alfred Diette-Spiff, who commended the President for the appointment of citizens of Bayelsa into key positions and the infrastructure projects being put in place, added that the state deserved more.
His counterpart in Rivers State, Dr. Dandeson Douglas Jaja, King Jaja of Opobo, while calling for free and fair elections, also appealed to the President to ensure that security agents remained non-partisan throughout the exercise.