Signs that President Muhammadu Buhari will concede defeat if he lost the 2019 elections emerged on Monday as he told a visiting American delegation that he will give the opposition Peoples Democratic Party opportunities he never had in the past.
Buhari said this when he received a delegation from the US’ International Republican and National Democratic Institute at the presidential villa on Monday.
He promised to ensure a level playing field for all contestants into various political offices in the 2019 elections.
Buhari said he knows what it feels to be cheated, having contested the presidential election three times before he won in 2015.
According to him, the practice before the 2015 elections was to award votes and tell who was dissatisfied to seek redress in court.
“I am glad you are here to assess our pre-election preparations. It reminds me of the visit by the then secretary of state, John Kerry, before the 2015 polls,” he said.
“We appreciate the concern of America for stability in developing countries.
“Having run for president three times, ending up at the supreme court all three times, before God and technology made a way for me the fourth time, I know what it is to be cheated at the polls.
“What they used to do was just to award votes, and tell anyone who was dissatisfied to go to court. But we won’t do that. I am prepared to give the opposition the opportunities I was not given in the past.”
The president assured his visitors that he has instructed heads of security agencies not to be partisan but to do their work professionally and allow the will of the people to prevail.
He noted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would keep faith with its priorities of securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption, adding that he was happy that the opposition has not been able to “successfully fault the focal areas of the government”.
“We have done fairly well in the areas we focused on. We know how many local government areas in the north-east were under Boko Haram occupation before we came,” he said.
“That does not happen again, save for cowardly attacks, using young girls as suicide bombers. Other areas of security challenge like farmers/herdsmen clashes are receiving attention, and would be sorted out as much as possible.”
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