President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the gubernatorial primaries of All Progressives Congress (APC), in Edo.
The president, who was speaking at the breaking of fast dinner with the leadership and chieftains of APC at the Presidential Villa, said the successful conduct of the primaries gave him a new hope.
He, however, stated that the party’s primaries coming up in Ondo would be closely watched to ensure it was free, fair and peaceful.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued the timetable for the conduct of governorship elections in both Edo and Ondo states.
The INEC stated that while the poll would hold on September 10 in Edo, Ondo would take its turn on November 26.
Buhari assured eligible voters in Edo and Ondo states that their votes would count.
“The successful conduct of APC primaries in Edo state gave me a new hope.
“We are going to watch Ondo very closely, we have to ensure that the vote of the people count’’, he said.
On the social unrest in the Niger Delta areas, the president frowned at the destructive activities of the militants and enjoined the party leaderships and other Nigerians to talk to them on the need to embrace peace.
“I honestly don’t know how many factions the militants are in the Niger Delta compared to the North East where you have the Boko Haram
“The technology being deployed by the militants to destroy oil installations is high-tech, the way they can go on high seas and international waters and target oil installations is a national problem. It is affecting development.
“No insurance company will want to insure installations that will end up being blown up and no banks will want to finance such installations.
“Those of you who have friends among the leadership or even the militants themselves should plead with them in the name of God Almighty to take it easy.
“We are in a very difficult time, so we have to organise ourselves. Anybody that says he has any other country than Nigeria should go out and see’’, he added.
The National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said the party was pleased with the achievements of the president so far.
Odigie-Oyegun, who acknowledged that Nigeria was passing through a difficult time, said “change does not come cheap or easily.’’
According to him, any meaningful development requires strong and determined leader.
“Things must change. Those things don’t come easily. Nigeria is clearly a difficult nation to govern,’’ he said.
Those at the event included former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Na’aba; the party’s Deputy National Chairman (South), Segun Oni and former Bayelsa State Governor, Timipre Sylva among others.