Polls ’ll be free, fair and credible, Buhari insists

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday visited Yenagoa,
Bayelsa State and Port Harcourt, Rivers State where he assured that he is all
out for free, fair and credible elections starting on Saturday.

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He spoke at a meeting with traditional rulers at the
secretariat complexes of the Councils of Traditional Rulers of the two states.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and
publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said: “I assure you that I’m all out for free,
fair and credible elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission,
INEC knows my stand on this.

“Nigerians are assured of free and fair elections. Under
this leadership, nobody will be allowed to intimidate other citizens. Nobody
will be allowed to snatch ballot boxes and run with them. I will make sure that
the votes count.” he said

President Buhari commended the introduction of the Permanent
Voters Card, PVC and Card Reader, and urged the nation to embrace the technology,
arguing that without it, the sixteen years of misrule by the People’s
Democratic Party, PDP would not have been brought to an end.

“In 16 years, the PDP thought nobody could remove them from
office. The introduction of the PVC and Card Reader made sure that our votes counted
in 2015 and the votes of Nigerians will count in 2019,” he stressed.

On the issue of security, the President repeated his
commitment to ensure the protection of lives, property and the territorial
integrity of the nation, while urging the traditional rulers to play their part
as expected of them.

“The question of security begins with you,” the President
told the royal fathers, even as he commended them for calming down the restive situation
in the Niger Delta.

“Through you, we have been able to persuade the militants to
change their attitudes. I congratulate you on the roles you played that stabilized
the security and the economy of the country,” he said.

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, at the reception
commended President Buhari for his statesmanship and love for the country.

On his part, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State called for
a peaceful conduct of the elections.

The Chairman of the Bayelsa State Council of Traditional
Rulers, His Majesty Alfred Diette-Spiff, who commended the President for the appointment
of citizens of Bayelsa into key positions and the infrastructure projects being
put in place, added that the state deserved more.

His counterpart in Rivers State, Dr. Dandeson Douglas Jaja,
King Jaja of Opobo, while calling for free and fair elections, also appealed to
the President to ensure that security agents remained non-partisan throughout
the exercise.