President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated why his government is not interfering in elections, telling All Progressives Congress (APC) governors in a meeting on Tuesday that he will allow Nigerians to vote for whoever they want.

At the meeting, which took place in his office in the presidential villa, Abuja, he assured that the ruling party will continue to leave strong political institutions that reflect their choices by not meddling in elections, citing the results of polls in Ekiti, Anambra and the Osun States as Indicators.

The president noted that non-interference in elections gives credibility to the political process, ensures participation and inclusiveness, and demonstrates that the ruling party respects the electorate.

He said that under his leadership, the APC will continue to respect Nigerians by ensuring that their votes count and that the voice of the people matters when electing political leaders at different levels.

In a statement from Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President:
(Media & Publicity), Buhari quoted: “I want Nigerians to know that we respect them, and show that we will allow them to vote for whoever they want.

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“We all witnessed what happened in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states. What has happened in those states gives me a lot of hope that we will succeed.”

Ahead of the 2023 elections, President Buhari said the government will also ensure that Nigerians are not intimidated or humiliated by those in positions, or the more privileged.

“We will not allow anyone to use personal resources or their influence to intimidate other Nigerians. We will not allow material, moral or physical harassment. This is the kind of leadership that can emerge and consolidate our nation.

“In six months, Nigerians will appreciate the APC government for being sincere and respecting them,” he added.

President Buhari urged the party’s political leaders to step up their efforts in “thinking, meeting and devising strategies for the 2023 elections”.

In his comments, Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) Chairman and Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, who led the delegation, thanked the President for his leadership, guided by wisdom and foresight, and affirmed that the Nigerian economy had grown despite challenges.

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He stated: “We would like to congratulate you on the positive trajectory of the economy, with growth of 3.5 percent in the second quarter, compared to 3.1 percent in the first quarter of this year. Infrastructure projects are underway in parts of the country and the social intervention program is expanding.”

The governor said the growth trajectory had defied the initial predictions of some multilateral institutions, confirming that the World Bank and others had recognized the resilience of the economy and revised their positions.

‘Excellence, at the moment there is drought in Europe and China. The war between Ukraine and Russia is taking its toll on the economy. In the UK, there is electricity rationing and energy shortages in China.

“While other countries are banning food exports, we are preparing for more production despite flooding in places like Jigawa State. We take note of your instruction to release 40,000 tons of grains.

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“We also note efforts to improve security and measures to reduce oil theft,” he said.

The PGF chairman told the president that some APC governors ran for a second term in 2023, with impressive results in their first term.

“We take note of ASUU’s ruling. We remember the President’s call to ASUU when we visited Daura to think about the future of students.

We’re not going to talk about that now. We are ready to accept all negotiations for a solution,” Bagudu added.

The Governor of Kebbi State praised the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and the President’s Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, for their steadfastness and stewardship.

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Buhari meets with APC governments and says he will allow Nigerians to vote for whoever they want

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