President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that Nigerians who sell their votes should be prepared to be denied their rights.
Buhari, in his Independence Day speech, said he is a firm believer in transparent, free, fair and credible elections, and that he has demonstrated this in the course of his administration.
He said the process leading to the Edo election and its outcome should be an encouragement to Nigerians that he is committed to ensuring that the electorate’s votes count.
Noting that electoral problems are caused by desperation and personal interest, the president asked all citizens to support the rule of law by avoiding actions that compromise the judiciary.
“The recent build-up and eventual outcome of the Edo State elections should encourage Nigerians that it is my commitment to bequeath to this country processes and procedures that would guarantee that the people’s votes count,” he said.
“The problems with our electoral process are mainly human-induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office.
“Democracy, the world over and as I am pursuing in Nigeria, recognizes the power of the people. However, if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights.
“This call is made more urgent if we realise that even after a transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.
“It is necessary to, therefore support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary.
“Fellow Nigerians, our history has shown that we are a people that have the capacity to live peacefully with one another.
“As a government, we remain committed to our constitutional oath of securing the lives and properties of the citizenry. I, however, call on the citizenry to also support government by providing the necessary community-level intelligence in addressing these challenges.”