President Muhammadu Buhari has restated his commitment to free and fair elections, calling on Nigerians to come out en masse to participate in the supplementary elections scheduled for 17 states on Saturday March 23.
Mr Buhari, who thanked voters for re-electing him for a second term in office, said he would never forget their sacrifices in defying harsh weather conditions to vote for him.
The president said: “I was deeply overwhelmed by your show of incredible confidence in me, and I will never let you down. Thank you for your sincere show of support for me.’’
Mr Buhari, however, appealed to voters not to get tired of coming out to vote in the supplementary elections, adding “these elections are no less important than others before them.”
The president appealed to voters to vote for the candidates they believe will deliver on promises because it is their “constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights.”
Mr Buhari dismissed rumours and insinuations that he was forcing voters to elect candidates other than those they preferred.
Describing the rumours as baseless, the president said at no time did he give instructions that the electorate should vote particular candidates.
“I believe in the will of the people, and I cannot, therefore, put pressure on voters to elect leaders they don’t like,’’ the president said emphatically.
Mr Buhari also called on INEC and security agencies to ensure that the supplementary elections are conducted peacefully and in accordance with the law and constitution.
The president assured Nigerians that he is ready to work with elected representatives of the people regardless of party platforms on which they are elected.
He said he will work in the best interest of the country and democracy.