Leon Usigbe and Femi Akinyemi
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday, in Daura, urged Nigerians not to give in to vote-buying, but take the money distributed by politicians and vote their conscience regardless.
The President made this known in a chat with journalists after casting his vote at Ward A, Sarkin Yara Polling Unit, 003 in Daura, Katsina State.
He also said the new naira policy has ensured a shortage of naira notes that would have been used by unscrupulous elements to influence the outcome of the elections in their favour.
“I am aware that the money is not there like before for people to sway voters like they used to do.
“And if they bring out money now, the people should pocket it, and still vote their conscience,” he said.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Saturday titled ‘Nigerians know we mean what we say, they will vote for us again, says President Buhari.’
According to Buhari, the electorate should follow their conscience in choosing the right leaders, both state executives and legislatures.
He affirmed that his regime had “diminished” the era of vote buying.
The President also commended the role of the media in empowering people with information on their rights and providing a platform for voters to challenge leaders on promises and records, therefore, deepening democratic culture and awareness among Nigerians.
“The media is doing very well in creating awareness and enabling the right conversation. You can hear the tough questions for leaders during interviews on TV, radio and other platforms, and the journalists always press for answers,” the President noted.
On the outcomes of the Governorship and State of Assembly elections, he expressed confidence that they will favour the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the country as Nigerians know the party “means what it says, and says what it means.”
The President noted that he was not surprised at the results of the Presidential elections on February 25, 2023, which saw Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerging as President-elect, since the APC campaigns were thorough and detailed.
“I am sure we are going to win, again,” he said.
Buhari urged the electorate to follow their conscience in choosing the right leaders, both state executives and legislatures, admonishing that the era of vote buying had been diminished.
“I am aware that the money is not there like before for people to sway voters like they used to do. And if they bring out money now, the people should pocket it, and still vote their conscience,” he said.
The President noted that the APC followed the constitutional procedure for the entire electoral process, choosing a party Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, who had served as a two-term Governor in Nasarawa State, and legislator in the Senate, with experience that will secure the electoral value and relevance of the party.
“Nigerians trust us because we mean what we say and say what we mean. We have maintained that trust. We told Nigerians that we will work for them, and we have done our best in education and health facilities, and Nigerians appreciate our efforts,’’ he said.
Buhari’s family members and aides also voted at the ward.
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