Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday assured Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would deliver free, fair and credible elections next year.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the President, Babafemi Ojodu, at the Annual Nigeria Political Parties Summit organised by the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre of the National Institute for a Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), said no individual interest would be allowed to override the nation’s interest.
He said all activities ahead of the 2019 elections must be approached with the highest level of decorum and strict adherence to rules of the game as enshrined in the constitution, the electoral act and indeed the code of conduct which the political parties freely put in place.
He said: “The interest of Nigeria is higher than the individual interest of any person or group of persons no matter how highly placed. It is our duty to protect and defend the life of every Nigerian while exercising his right to vote.
“We must never allow anyone or anything to derail our match to progress. We must refrain from actions that are capable of threatening the security of this country, particularly hate speeches and attitude to intolerance and division. Let us stand together on the common action of love, unity and stability to salvage Nigeria.
“This political summit offers an opportunity for the political parties to dialogue and take stock of our activities. The absence of dialogue among political parties in the past led to conflict and polarization among political leaders and consequently bitter developments.
“Trust and cooperation between political parties is imperative between political parties for democracy and development. In this respect, I want to commend the political parties for strengthening the Interparty Advisory Council to have a common platform for all political parties to articulate their common problems and deepen democracy. Inter party cooperation in these days is essential for democratic consolidation and national stability.
“Today, I pledge to Nigeria, my country to promote free, fair and credible election devoid of any form of interference in the activities of INEC, to ensure security and promote a violence free election devoid of animosity and hate speeches, to abide by the extant laws governing political parties and adhere strictly to the code of conduct of political parties in Nigeria.”