President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday reminisced about the conduct of the 2015 general elections, saying it marked a watershed in the nation’s political history.
Speaking in Abuja at the Leadership Annual Awards, Buhari said he and other actors in the elections were led by the higher ideal of the future of Nigeria and the well-being of the citizens rather than the mere desire to win elections.
He said it was the commitment to this ideal, the patriotic zeal of former President Jonathan, the impartiality of the electoral umpire and exemplary conduct of the political parties, foreign pressure and other actors “that we collectively disappointed the prophets of doom who had predicted the disintegration of the country after the 2015 general elections.”
Buhari said the nation’s democracy had been strengthened by the outcome of the 2015 elections as Nigerians now have more faith in the electoral system in the sense that their votes would count when choosing political leaders at various levels.
He said the political class should build on the experience of the 2015 elections to nurture democracy.
Buhari, who co-won the Leadership Person Award of the Year with his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan and former INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega, said the honour was another public acknowledgement of their various roles and contributions towards the national rebirth and development of democracy in Nigeria.
The president said they were humbled by the honour which, according to him, would inspire them to redouble their commitment to the progress of democracy and development of the country.
He expressed hope that the awards would encourage all those recognised to remain committed to good behaviour in their various endeavours to justify the recognition and serve as inspiration to others.
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