Buhari: Despite Security Challenges, Future Elections will Hold in Nigeria
* Vows to descend heavily on those bent on destroying the nation
* Says he has no plan to stay beyond 2023
By Deji Elumoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that despite security challenges facing the nation, all future elections will be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with adequate financial backing by the federal government.
He also vowed to descend heavily on those bent on destroying the nation through assaults on public buildings and institutions.
The president, who spoke Tuesday while receiving in audience the management of INEC led by its Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, who came to brief him on the series of attacks on facilities of the electoral body across the country at the State House, Abuja, further disclosed that he has no intention of staying in office beyond 2023.
The Media Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina, in a release issued at the end of the closed-door session, quoted President Buhari while commenting on the dangers posed to future elections by the burning of INEC facilities, as saying he would give the electoral commission all it needed to operate.
According to him, “We will do that so that no one would say we don’t want to go, or that we want a third term. There will be no excuse for failure. We’ll meet all INEC’s demands.”
The president, however, issued a stern warning to those bent on destroying the country through promoting insurrection, and burning down critical national assets, saying a rude shock awaits them very soon.
He said: “I receive daily security reports on the attacks, and it is very clear that those behind them want this administration to fail.
“Insecurity in Nigeria is now mentioned all over the world. All the people who want power, whoever they are, you wonder what they really want. Whoever wants the destruction of the system will soon have the shock of their lives. We’ve given them enough time.”
The president recalled that he visited all the 36 states of the country before the 2019 election, “and majority of the people believed me, and the election proved it”.
He promised to continue leading the country in accordance with constitutional provisions.
According to him, those misbehaving in certain parts of the country were obviously too young to know the travails and loss of lives that attended the Nigerian Civil War.
“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand. We are going to be very hard sooner than later,” he said.
The president added that the service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IG) have been changed, “and we will demand security from them”.
Earlier in his briefing, Yakubu said so far, there have been 42 cases of attacks on INEC offices nationwide, since the last general election in 2019.
He said: “The 42 incidents so far occurred in 14 states of the federation for a variety of reasons. Most of the attacks happened in the last seven months, and they are unrelated to protest against previous elections. From the pattern and frequency of the most recent attacks, they appear to be targeted at future elections. The intention is to incapacitate the commission, undermine the nation’s democracy and precipitate a national crisis.”