President Muhammadu Buhari on Mondays while receiving the Joint United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS Good Offices Mission on Elections as well as Mrs Julie Payette, Canada’s governor-general said the era when votes were awarded to favourites of the authorities and the shortchanged told to go to court is gone.
“I emphasise free and fair elections at all times,’’ he said.
The President spoke along the same line at two events at the State House in Abuja yesterday.
Speaking on free and fair elections, Buhari said: “I am highly qualified to talk on this, having ended in Supreme Court three times, after participating in elections with disputed results.
“Where will a man looking for where his next meal would come from have money to hire lawyers, particularly senior advocates?” the President said.
He reassured all that the 2019 polls would be free and fair.
President Buhari said: “The President has only one vote, governors have a vote each, just like anybody else.
“Let the people vote for whoever they choose, without their will being tampered with.’’
According to him, multi-party democracy gives many choices to the people, and Nigeria has a vibrant young population, who trust his administration to handle their affairs and resources well.
“A lot depends on leadership,’’ he said.
Buhari thanked the joint team for being in touch with the nation’s institutions, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).