'You have to put Nigeria first in 2019' - Buhari tells INEC



President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to put Nigeria first in organising free, fair and credible elections next year.

He also noted that building on trust in any election was the collective responsibility of all citizens in the country.

Buhari spoke during the signing of peace accord for the 2019 elections by presidential candidates and their political parties in Abuja.

The President, who noted past elections have been marred by violence perpetrated by political leaders and the followers, said without trust, the country cannot strive on its quest for achieving any meaningful growth and development.

He said: "I wish to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all arms of security agencies to put the nation first in their conduct.


"The world is watching us and the task of building or institutionalising trust in our political system and institution is fundamental to the growth and development of our country." he stated

Former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar underscored the essence of peace towards ensuring credible polls.

He thanked Buhari for his commitment to ensuring peace and credible election as well as being present to sign the peace agreement and advised him to lead by example.

He however noted security should be a source of worry to everyone, especially the leaders and cautioned their acts of commission or omission could make matters worse.

He urged them to temper their utterances and action with responsibility and patriotism.

"We have now entered the electioneering period, proper keeping of peace becomes the overriding objectives.

"The election itself will not hold in the absence of peaceful atmosphere. Disharmony among political parties hinders all peaceful efforts," he said.

He also condemned the subtle incitement coming from some religious houses, saying that they do not portend well for the country.

He appealed to all participants to endeavor to stick to the contents of the peace pact they signed and appealed to INEC to carry out its mandate as expected of it.

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