- President Buhari and Atiku Abubakar are expected to meet on Thursday, February 14, in Abuja
- The two leaders are to attend the 2019 Murtala Muhammed memorial public lecture
- Members of international community are also expected to grace the event
President Muhammadu Buhari and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, are expected to attend the 2019 Murtala Muhammed memorial public lecture slated for Thursday, February 14.
Legit.ng reports that the representatives of the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and Economic Committee of West African States (ECOWAS) among other stakeholders in the conduct of the 2019 presidential elections, were also scheduled to attend the memorial public lecture ahead of the Saturday, February 16, presidential and National Assembly polls.
A statement by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF), the organizers of the event hinted on Monday, February 11, that the lecture tagged: “Towards credible, peaceful and participatory elections: moving Nigeria’s democracy forward” would see the special representatives of different electoral observer missions to Nigeria to give their expectations on the crucial general election.
The expected guests according to the statement include the representative of the secretary-general and head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohammed Ibn Chambas, H.E Jakaya Kikwete, President of Tanzania (2005-2015) and head of African Union Election observer team to Nigeria, H.E Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia (2006-2018) and chairperson of the authority of Heads of States and government of ECOWAS and H.E Festus Mogae, former president of the Republic of Botswana and the head of joint IRI/NDI IEO Mission to Nigeria, among others.
The chief executive officer of MMF, Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, in the statement disclosed that the flagship annual memorial public lecture was billed to also attract the attendance of a cross-generation of leaders in the public and private sector, international organizations and influencers from all walks of life with His Royal Highness, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano, as royal father of the day.
According to Muhammed-Oyebode, "The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF), is pleased to announce the 2019 anniversary lecture in honour of late General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from July 29, 1975 to February13, 1976.
"As the country prepares to mark another transition in its democratic journey, it is important to strengthen our electoral processes and promote active citizen participation toward improving good governance in Nigeria, taking into consideration the challenges confronting the country and the impacts on regional integration.
"The gathering will be an opportunity to honour the memory of the former Head of State (1975-1976) and assure all Nigerians of the candidates’ collective determination and commitment to contest and allow for free, fair and credible elections.
"The 2019 memorial lecture will therefore provide a platform for broad based solutions to key issues confronting our nation, including having a credible elections starting in few days’ time, which in the long run assisted in moving our country's democracy forward."
She added that the public lecture is part of activities to mark the 43rd anniversary of the late Head of State, stating "the foundation will hold a series of activities which will focus on voters’ education and awareness."
The MMF chief executive further noted that, "the lecture series has over time, created a forum for expert analysis and recommendations on issues of national importance in Nigeria and the African continent."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that six days to presidential election, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, President Muhammadu Buhari's chances of winning the poll has again been boosted with his adoption by the Oyo state chapter of Alliance for Democracy (AD) as its presidential candidate.
The governorship candidate of the party in the state, Oyedele Alao, said the midway withdrawal of AD presidential candidate, Emiola Ojajuni, geared the party to look for other candidate whom they believed could serve the interest of Nigerians better.
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