Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that his will keep his many promises including organising free, fair and credible elections in the New Year.
This is even as he has expressed the hope that Nigerians will repeat the support and collaboration that helped him to win election in 2015.
In a 17-paragraphs New Year message to Nigerians, the president who expressed happiness that a large number of presidential candidates had committed to peaceful elections, stressed that the polls need not be a do or die affair, adding that the elections should not be approached with trepidation and mortal fear.
Buhari said: “2019 will be an election year for us. In about two months, the polls are due, and we will elect leaders into various offices, at national and state levels.
“As I welcome you into 2019, I also reiterate my many promises and declarations that the general elections will be free, fair and credible.
“Elections need not be (a) do or die affair, and we should not approach that eventuality in a democracy with trepidation and mortal fear. Happily, a large number of presidential candidates have committed to peace, and peace we shall have.
“Those who continue to trumpet falsehood and negativity are on their own, fighting a losing battle. The greater number of Nigerians are trusting and believing that we shall deliver on our promises for a level-playing field at the polls, and that is what we shall do.”
President Buhari who described the year 2019 as a very significant one for the country, stressed that Nigerians desired peace, security, prosperity, inclusiveness and infrastructural development, a nation they could be proud of, a country that could hold its own among the nations.
He explained that, “that is the journey we have embarked on since we came onboard in 2015, and we are not distracted as we move on. We are resolved to build a country in which the resources are utilised for the benefit of the largest number, and not appropriated by a privileged few in their never-ending quest to satisfy their greed. We are on this mission together, and I assure you of a firm commitment to the ideals of a safe, secure, fair, just and prosperous country.”
The president admitted that the country had gone through security, economic, political, social challenges. He assured however, that his administration had resolved to combat and overcome them all.
“We have had our challenges: security, economic, political, social. But we are resolved to combat and overcome them all.
“At the turn of every year, we often use the opportunity to look back at the past and forward to the future: to review the outgoing year, its high and low points, successes and failures, and be fully thankful to God.
“We, Nigerians, are a religious people, and we believe that God reigns and rules in the affairs of men. A time like this offers (a) precious opportunity for thanksgiving, stock taking and reflection on goals and targets set for the receding year, and how much was accomplished. The ones not done can then be rolled over into a new year.
“The dawn of a New Year is also a time to look forward, to consider new prospects, unfold our plans, and prepare for landmark dates and events.”
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He reiterated that his administration was motivated by nothing other than service to motherland, and service without selfishness or personal interest.
Buhari added: “I can assure you all that we are making steady and sustainable progress in all areas of national life. Those who are unbiased can see and appreciate the progress the country has made since 2015.
“A New Year provides opportunity for renewal of commitment, and I invite you to rededicate yourselves to the vision of a Nigeria that works for all.
“We are moving from potentials to actualisation, and it’s a task to be accomplished by us all; man, woman, young, old, military, civilian – all Nigerians.
Please come along, as we journey to the land of our dreams. Happy 2019!”