Buhari said APC, under his leadership, will continue to respect Nigerians by ensuring that their votes count and the people’s voice matters in choosing political leaders at different levels.
The President, who received members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) led by Chairman and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, at the State House, noted that non-interference in elections, give credence to the political process, ensures participation and inclusiveness and shows that the governing party respects the electorate.
“I want Nigerians to know that we respect them and for us to show that we will allow them to vote who they want.
“We all witnessed what happened in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States. What happened in those states gives me a lot of hope that we are succeeding.’’
For the 2023 elections, Buhari said the government would also ensure that Nigerians don’t get intimidated or humiliated by those in positions or the more privileged.
“We will not allow anyone to use personal resources or their influence to intimidate other Nigerians. We will not allow intimidation materially, morally or physically. This is the kind of leadership that can emerge and consolidate our nation.
“In six months, Nigerians will appreciate the government of APC that we are sincere and we respect them,’’ he added.
President Buhari urged the party’s political leaders to intensify efforts in “thinking, meeting and strategizing for the 2023 elections.’’
In his remarks, the Chairman of the PGF thanked the President for his leadership, guided by wisdom and foresight, affirming that the Nigerian economy had been growing in spite of challenges.
“We want to congratulate you on the positive trajectory of the economy, with the 3.5 per cent growth in the second quarter, up from 3.1 per cent of the first quarter of this year. Infrastructure projects are ongoing in parts of the country, and the social intervention programme is expanding,’’ Bagudu stated.
The PGF Chairman told the President that some APC governors were contesting elections for a second term in 2023 with impressive records in their first term.
“We note the pronouncement of ASUU. We recall the appeal of the President to ASUU while we were visiting Daura that they should consider the future of students.
“We will not dwell on that now. We are ready to accept any negotiations for resolution,’’ Bagudu added.