President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday called on candidates of political parties to accept the outcome of the 2023 general elections.
Nigerians will go to the poll on Saturday, February 25 to choose a new President and members of the National Assembly. Thereafter, the Governorship/States House of Assembly polls would hold on March 11.
To avoid possible electoral violence and bloodshed, the President asked the respective candidates to respect the choices of the electorates, reminding the political class and their supporters that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the agency empowered by law to announce the results.
He made the call while witnessing the signing of the Second Peace Accord for the 2023 Presidential elections at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
“Let me remind all Nigerians not for the first time that this is the only country we have, and we must do everything to keep it safe, united and peaceful,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina.
“Any aggrieved candidate should resort to the established judicial processes, and we must have the confidence to trust our legal systems.
“I once again ask the candidates to abide by the spirit and letter of the Accord they have signed today.
“There should be no riots or acts of violence after the announcement of the election results. All grievances, personal or institutional, should be channelled to the relevant courts,” he said.
The President acknowledged that deep concerns have been raised about the conduct of the 2023 general elections and the outcomes they may throw up.
President Buhari assured Nigerians that his administration will continue to do the utmost to deliver a free and fair election.
According to him, his administration has worked so hard to ensure a legacy of free, fair, credible, safe, and peaceful elections.
He added, “We will continue to act with neutrality and allow the rule of law to take precedence over political expediency.
“We have demonstrated that with the off-circle elections in Edo, Ondo, Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States. We allowed Nigerians to decide who should govern them. We are committed to that legacy in this administration.”
President Buhari, therefore, assured INEC, security agencies and all relevant institutions saddled with responsibility of conducting the elections, of his administration’s continuous support.
He asked them to be firm and courageous, abiding by the laws and constitutional provisions in conducting the elections.
President Buhari thanked the Chairman and members of the National Peace Committee, led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, for their commitment and sacrifices to support peaceful elections in Nigeria.
He recalled that in September 2022, the Chairman had respectfully asked him to deliver a goodwill message in support of issue-based and peaceful campaigns and political rallies devoid of insults and personal attacks.