To President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerians have a date with history tomorrow.
In a nationwide broadcast Thursday Feb, 22 2019, the President urged Nigerians to disregard rumours of violence but troop out en masse to perform their civic duty during the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly election.
He urged the electorate to elect a government that will move the country to loftier heights.
Buhari said: “As your President, I hereby ask all Nigerians with voting cards to participate in defining the future of our nation by exercising your democratic rights tomorrow. I urge you to go out and vote.
“I say this because elections are the cornerstone of representative governance. And voting constitutes the highest and best expression of the sovereign will of the people to choose the government that best represents them.
“It is only upon the freely expressed will of the people that government truly dedicated to the welfare, rights and interests of the people can be founded.
“You will be able to vote in an atmosphere of openness and peace, devoid of fear from threat or intimidation. Tomorrow is an encounter with history in which you, the people, shall affirm your collective belief in our national greatness and in our future.
“I ask that you embrace and hold on to the importance of the moment soon to be upon us. Honour your civic duty as voters by going to the polls tomorrow to vote for the government of your choice, for the government that will lead Nigeria toward its finest destiny.
“As citizens there is no greater duty than this and no greater honour. Tomorrow, I know you will once again make Nigeria proud of its people.”
The President urged Nigerians not to be discouraged by anyone from exercising their rights as citizens and voters tomorrow.
“To vote”, he said, “means that they believe in Nigeria and the excellent things the future holds for the nation and its people.
“No matter our political leanings, we all believe in Nigeria, in the noble principles for which it stands and in the values we strive for our beloved nation to uphold.
“All who are able, must vote so that we may better perfect this democracy and continue to build the greater nation we seek. Do not be afraid of rumours of violence and unrest.”
According to him, the security agencies have worked diligently to ensure that adequate security measures are in place.
Identifying democracy as the most beneficial way to select a nation’s leaders, he said that it is far from the easiest thing to achieve and maintain.
He said that it requires a combination of patience, tolerance, compassion, diligence, wisdom and hope.
Buhari said: “These traits exist in us the Nigerian people. Because of who we are, democracy has the chance to flourish in this land.
“Thus, I commend all of you for your patience and peaceful conduct so far during this electoral season and especially during this intervening week following the postponement of the February 16 elections.
“Many were worried and thought the worst might happen. You proved them wrong by showing that you are a great people with an abiding love for peace, democracy and the unity of our country.
“According to the daily INEC public briefings given this week, the Electoral Commission says it is ready and fully prepared to conduct the election in a free, fair and transparent manner. I believe INEC realises the profound and weighty duty that rests upon it.”
The President urged Nigerians to have faith that INEC will this time rise to the occasion.
He said: “We must cast aside doubt and have faith that INEC will rise to the occasion. We must believe and encourage INEC to fulfill and honour this responsibility it owes to our country.”
Buhari also assured the international, domestic monitors and observers of their safety and freedom of movement needed to perform their important functions.
Lauding the domestic monitors and observers for their contributions to Nigeria’s democracy, the President also thanked the international groups for their friendship and concern for the nation.
“We appreciate their efforts in encouraging us to further entrench and strengthen our democracy,” he said