President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is committed to the conduct of free, fair, credible and acceptable elections by the global community in 2019.
President Buhari stated this, on Saturday, during the ceremony of participants of Senior Executive Course (SEC) No. 40 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State.
President Buhari, who was represented by Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, urged Nigerians to come out enmasse to exercise their franchise during the poll.
“Let me assure you that we shall not allow few evil forces in our midst whose only agenda to attain political power is by inciting hate and intolerance among the citizens.
“They exploit and manipulate the fault lines in the society to destroy our collective peace, mutual co-existence and social harmony, thinking that they will change the narrative; and the people would not ask them to account for what they looted from the common wealth.
“As we prepare for the forthcoming elections in 2019, Nigerians are once again enjoined to exercise their civic obligation as stakeholders in our development project. We as a government also wish to reiterate our commitment to ensuring that the elections are free, fair and credible as part of measures to deepen our democracy.”
He said his administration met a turbulent economy with an empty treasury in 2015 and has out in place a people’s oriented policies that has recovered the economy of the nation.
“When we assumed leadership in 2015, what we met was an economy in shambles as a result of widespread corruption and mismanagement of the national common-wealth, compounded by a sharp drop in the prices of oil.
“We inherited an empty treasury, depleted foreign reserves, poor and dilapidated infrastructure, huge capital and current liabilities, food import dependency, long-standing insurgency, myriads of internal security challenges, and a situation whereby many state governments owed their workers’ salaries.
“To address the problems fundamentally, we put in place several policy frameworks, the major one being the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which laid out the strategy for achieving the government’s vision of sustained and inclusive growth.
“We have reduced rice importation by 90 per cent and revived our capacity to produce fertiliser locally.
“We have tremendously improved on our ranking in the ease of doing business by the World Bank. Our foreign reserve is now USD 44 billion, the highest in the last five years.”
He said his administration remains committed to the welfare of all Nigerians and has clearly demonstrated this with prompt and proactive measures to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians affected by the recent flooding in some part of the country.
Acting Director General of the Institute, Prof. Jonathan Juma said the Institute is determine to formulate policy frameworks that will curb internal security in the country and enthrone good governance in the interest of all Nigerians.