President Muhammadu Buhari has asked political parties and politicians to respect the electoral process, as political activities for the 2019 polls are about to take off nationwide.
Buhari, who made the call in Abuja, at the 15th Daily Trust dialogue, urged them and their supporters to avoid all forms of violence before, during and after the polls.
The President, represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said former president Goodluck Jonathan, by his peaceful handover of power after the 2015 polls, had set the tone for decent political conduct in Nigeria.
“We confounded the naysayers and the outside world. Nigerians showed resilience, patience when the biometric card reader system for verifying voters threw up some technical challenges. The security challenges in the north east did not deter out people from exercising their fundamental political and civic rights.
“From Umuahia to Damaturu, Jalingo to Osogbo, our people queued for long hours at their polling units and kept vigil as election officials tabulated their votes. And then the big one, the (then) outgoing President Dr, Goodluck Jonathan historically set the tone for future political conduct t in the country by graciously accepting defeat in a keenly contested race.
“As we look towards 2019 and completing another round of the electoral cycle, there is the need for all of us to sustain efforts at building confidence in the country’s democratic institutions, notably the judiciary and INEC.”
In this regard, the President tasked aggrieved political parties and politicians to seek redress on elections disputes through constitutional means, and to respect the rule of law.
On its part, Buhari pledged his administration will not condone or support any form of violence, support individuals or groups, undermining the country’s electoral process.