By Cecilia Ologunagba
The Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, has assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari will deliver on his pledge to the world leaders by delivering credible, free and fair elections in 2023.
Gambari gave the assurance on Wednesday while reacting to President Buhari’s statement at the ongoing 77th session of the General Assembly in New York.
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buhari had conveyed his final reflection as Nigerian president to the world leaders and pledged to deliver credible elections in the 2023 polls.
Gambari told newsmen in an interview that the message of the Nigerian leader was clear on credible elections, and he would not want to elongate his tenure.
“Well, I think it’s clear because the president has been saying the voice and vote of Nigerians must be respected.
“He said let Nigerians choose among the candidates for elections, so that they will also take responsibility for the consequences. I think that’s the point that they should note.
“And, therefore, the electorate have unique opportunity under this president to exercise their vote in a wise manner, because there are consequences,” said Gambari.
Earlier, Buhari had told the world leaders that he would leave a legacy by allowing the votes of the electorate to count.
“As President, I have set the goal that one of the enduring legacies I would like to leave is to entrench a process of free, fair and transparent and credible elections through which Nigerians elect leaders of their choice,’’ he said.
Buhari told the gathering that the Nigerian government believed in the sanctity of constitutional term limits and would steadfastly adhere to it in the country.
“We have seen the corrosive impact on values when leaders elsewhere seek to change the rules to stay on in power. Indeed, we now are preparing for general elections in Nigeria next February,” he said.
The Nigeria leader said: “At the 78th UNGA, there will be a new face at this podium speaking for Nigeria.”
In addition, he said Nigeria, a vast country was strengthened by its diversity and its common values of hard work, enduring faith and a sense of community.
“We have invested heavily to strengthen our framework for free and fair elections. I thank our partners for all the support that they have provided our election institutions,” said Buhari.
Speaking on the theme of the session,
“A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,” he said the theme was apt considering the multiple challenges facing Nigeria.
“The multiple challenges that face us are truly interconnected and urgent, and your choice of this Session’s theme was apt in keeping with our obligations as Member States of this noble Organisation.
“We all must do our utmost to work with you toward resolving them. In this regard, I reiterate my delegation’s full and resolute cooperation,” he said.
Conveying his final reflection, Buhari said, “we live in extraordinary times with interdependent challenges but enormous opportunities.”
He noted that the pace of change sometimes seemed bewildering, with sometimes a palpable and unsettling sense of uncertainty about the future.
“But if my years in public service have taught me anything, it is that we must keep faith with those values that endure.
“These include, but are not limited to justice, honour, integrity, ceaseless endeavour, and partnership within and between nations.
“Our strongest moments have always been when we remain true to the basic principles of tolerance, community, and abiding commitment to peace and goodwill towards all,” he said. (NAN)