Presidential Broadcast: Jonathan appreciates Nigerians, calls for credible polls

By Ayoola Mudasiru March 27, 2015 11:04

Presidential Broadcast: Jonathan appreciates Nigerians, calls for credible polls

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday appreciated the people of Nigeria for the opportunity to lead the country and urged them to endeavour to perform their civic duties tomorrow by electing leaders of their choice.

“I have come before you this morning to express my immense appreciation for the opportunity you gave me to lead this great nation of ours in the past four years.

“I also wish to place on record, once again, my sincere gratitude for the support you have given my administration without which the significant progress we have made in recent years would not have been possible,” he said.

Jonathan made the statement during a National Broadcast on the 2015 General Elections.

Jonathan expressed joy that, Nigeria’s democracy has continued to wax strong and that democratic institutions and governance practices are becoming more effective.

“We have all worked very hard to nurture and strengthen our democratic institutions and promote the good governance practices which they were designed to deliver for the better well-being of our people,” he said.

Jonathan, who is running for re-election under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, urged Nigerians to come out en-masse to peacefully perform their civic duties, and urged all stakeholders in the electoral process to comport themselves with dignity as the eyes of the whole world were on Nigeria.

“This much-cherished democracy of ours is about to be put to the test once again. I urge you all to troop out en-masse to peacefully perform your civic duty of voting for leaders of your choice tomorrow.

“As we do so, let us all – political party leaders, contestants, party members, party agents, supporters and ordinary voters alike, be very conscious of the fact that the eyes of the entire world are on us.

“We must therefore comport ourselves in a manner that will further strengthen our democracy and consolidate our place in the comity of truly democratic nations,” Jonathan stated.

Jonathan, who spoke passionately in his capacity as the President and not a presidential candidate, reaffirmed his commitment to a free, fair and credible election, and assured the electoral body was ready for the elections.

“I made a commitment on assumption of office to progressively deliver freer, fairer and more credible elections in our country. In keeping with that commitment, the Federal Government has given the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, all necessary support to ensure that it conducts very successful elections tomorrow and on April 11.

“We have all been assured that INEC is fully ready for the elections. I believe that we can all trust that they are certainly more ready now than they may have been before security issues and other concerns necessitated a re-scheduling of the dates for the 2015 general elections,” he said.

The President also used the opportunity to commend Nigeria’s Armed Forces for their victory over insurgency in the North-East.

“We are also glad that our gallant Armed Forces have successfully stemmed the seizure of Nigerian territories in the North-East by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“They have recaptured most of the communities and territories formerly occupied by the insurgents, making it possible for thousands of internally-displaced Nigerians to begin returning to their homes and communities.

“I heartily commend the very courageous men and women of our Armed Forces for the immense sacrifices which they continue to make in defending the nation and protecting its citizens. I also thank all Nigerians for keeping faith with us over the past six weeks,” Jonathan said.

Jonathan urged political parties and politicians to allow the electorate express their desires without hindrance and urged Nigerians to accept the outcome of the elections in good faith.

“I call on all political parties and politicians in the country to allow the free, unfettered will of our people to be expressed without any hindrance in the coming elections in keeping with the hallowed principles and tenets of democratic governance which we all profess.

“The will of the people freely expressed through the ballot is the bedrock of all democracies and ours cannot be an exception. Let us all therefore be prepared, as true democrats, to graciously accept the outcome of the elections as the rightful choice of our people from whom all political powers in our democracy must emanate.

“My administration has done its utmost best in the past four years to deliver on our promise to positively transform our country. Tomorrow’s election is another very important milestone as we continue our march towards the fulfillment of our God-given potential for greatness,” he said.