- President Buhari has charged traditional rulers on the need to work towards peaceful 2019 general elections
- Buhari also vowed to prosecute those who are bent on causing violence and public disturbance during the election
- According to the president, the electoral commission has made necessary arrangement that will ensure that the votes of every Nigerian counts
With some days to the general election, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, January 28, urged the security agencies and the traditional rulers to work towards ensuring a violence free and credible election.
Speaking at the 10th general assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria (NCTRN) in Abuja, the president blew hot, adding that the government will not tolerate any attempt to cause public disturbance and violence in the election through reckless speeches, Vanguard reports.
The president, who noted that traditional rulers have a great impact in the coming election, urged the monarchs to use their position to ensure the presence of peace and security in the country during the 2019 general election.
According to him, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the security of lives and properties is ensured during the forthcoming poll.
He said: "Given the activities of unscrupulous individuals who use the election season to foment trouble and disturb the electoral process, the role of security agencies is particularly crucial.
“But the backbone of effective security is quality intelligence and the most trusted repository of local intelligence is of course the royal father in his domain, and we encourage the security agencies to work closely with you in this enormous task."
Buhari said as a nation with diverse norms, cultures, traditions, ethnic nationalities and religions, Nigeria had in the past witnessed various degrees of conflicts and violence during elections, borne out of irresponsible utterances, hate speech, designed to incite and provoke disturbances.
“We must not tolerate this dangerous behavior. Your positions as traditional heads of your communities accord you considerable influence and the respect of your subjects," he added.
President Buhari, who charged the traditional rulers on the need for them to unite the country through their powers, also reestablished the need to educate the electorate ahead of election. He also revealed that the electoral commission has made necessary arrangement that will ensure that the votes of Nigerians count through new ideals and innovations into the system.
He added: “The major purpose of establishing that link is to educate the local electorate or reinforce information that they may have about electoral processes as laid down by INEC.
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“For example, INEC has said that in the forthcoming polls, voters will be accredited and then vote immediately after accreditation. This is different from the old method of accreditation first and then coming back hours later to vote. This must be well disseminated to all.
"Similarly, the use of card readers, the role of party agents and other electoral actors will require some explanation and some dissemination, especially where the rules have changed."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that President Buhari on Tuesday, January 22, expressed satisfaction with the level of preparations made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the forthcoming general elections.
Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, in a statement, said the president made his feelings known when he met with members of the European Union Observer Mission, who were in Nigeria to observe the forthcoming election at the State House, Abuja.
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