President Muhammadu Buhari has charged Nigerians never to forget the sacrifices of the heroes of Nigeria’s democracy during the 1993 electoral process.
The president made the call in a nationwide broadcast to mark 2022 Democracy Day on Sunday in Abuja.
He maintained that the patriotism and peaceful struggle of these heroes should serve as guides in electing new leaders and holding them accountable.
”We must never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of Nigeria’s democracy during 1993.
”Their patriotism and peaceful struggle should guide our actions, especially when it comes to electing our leaders and holding them accountable, now and in future,” he said.
The president, who is presiding over the last Democracy Day celebration as the second tenure of his administration expires on May 29, 2023, expressed determination to ensure that ”the new President is elected through a peaceful and transparent process”.
He said: ”Fellow Nigerians, this is my last Democracy Day speech as your President.
”By June 12, 2023, exactly one year from today, you will already have a new President. I remain committed and determined to ensure that the new President is elected through a peaceful and transparent process.
”It is important for all of us to remember that June 12th, 2023, will be exactly 30 years from the 1993 Presidential elections.
”In honour and memory of one of our national heroes for democracy, Chief M.K.O Abiola, we must all work together to ensure this transition is done in a peaceful manner.”
The president expressed optimism that the forthcoming general elections in 2023 would be conducted smoothly to ensure a peaceful transition.
He lauded the recent peaceful conduct of party primaries by political parties where they selected their candidates for the general elections in 2023.
”I am hopeful that we can achieve this. The signs so far are positive. Recently, all registered political parties conducted primaries to select their candidates for the 2023 general elections.
”These primaries were peaceful and orderly. Those who won were magnanimous in their victories. Those who lost were gracious in defeat. And those aggrieved opted to seek judicial justice as opposed to jungle justice.
”I followed the party primaries closely from the state level to the Presidential level. I was very impressed to see across all the political parties that, most candidates ran issue-based campaigns.
”The language and tone throughout were on the whole measured and controlled.
”As we move into the general election campaign season, we must sustain this mature attitude to campaigning and ultimately, voting.
”We must never see it as a ‘do-or-die’ affair. We must all remember democracy is about the will of the majority. There must be winners and losers.”