President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, declared that perpetrators of election violence in the country would be dealt with according to the laws of the land.
He also condemned recent political violence in Rivers State, saying that the killing of people over political differences was primitive, barbaric and unacceptable.
The president’s statements are contained in a press release issued by his special adviser on media, Femi Adesina.
“We will deal decisively with all sponsors of violence. I have given the security services clear directives in this regard. We will show that violence in any form will no longer be tolerated before, during or after elections,” he said at an interactive meeting with Nigerians resident in Equatorial Guinea.
Meanwhile, President Buhari also gave Nigerians living outside their fatherland the hope that they can partake in the electoral process.
He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be encouraged to explore the possibility of Nigerians abroad voting in the 2019 general elections.
Noting that some African countries had started allowing their citizens resident abroad to vote in national elections, the president said that he fully empathised with the desire of Nigerians in the diaspora to vote in national elections, and pledged to do all within his powers to make this happen with Nigerians living abroad.
“I want all Nigerians to know that I respect them and their right to choose their leaders,” he said
Responding to complaints by members of the Nigerian community about the absence of direct flights between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, the president also said that establishing a new national airline was not currently on the federal government’s list of priorities. He declared that his administration’s main focus now was reducing the level of poverty in the country.
He asserted that his administration will continue to prioritize the development of the infrastructure needed to boost production in all sectors of the economy and create more jobs for youths, as well as other actions that will directly improve the living conditions of ordinary Nigerians.
The president assured them that his administration’s war against corruption will remain “fearless, relentless and merciless”.
“We will be merciless and relentless in pursuing all those who abused public trust. Nigerians will see how some of the elite conspired to run the nation down,” he said.