I Emphasise Free And Fair Elections Always, Buhari Tells Canadian Leader
President Muhammadu Buhari is confident that Nigeria’s democracy is steadily improving with a deeper understanding of the culture and tenets among the people.
The President said this at a meeting with the Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette, on Monday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He also believes that the progress of the nation’s democracy is as a result of the strengthening of the institutions that guarantee free and fair elections.
“I emphasise free and fair elections at all times,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
President Buhari revealed that he saw the evolving strength of democracy in the country by contesting for elections three times before winning at the fourth trial in 2015.
He told the Governor General that Nigeria had been learning from the mistakes of those who practiced democracy for a longer period and by looking inward at its own peculiarities.
The President said the bilateral relations with Canada would continue to be improved, considering the huge interest of the country in Nigeria and growing economic ties, with many Nigerians schooling and working in the country.
He commended Canada for playing a brotherly role in helping displaced persons in the North East, following the Boko Haram insurgency in the region.
In her remarks, the Governor General said Nigeria and Canada enjoy a warm and strong partnership that has translated into ease of migration, large trade relations, and cultural exchanges.
Payette, who is an astronaut, stressed the importance for nations to pool resources together to start exploring the benefits of space in providing solutions to some problems on earth.
She noted that the world would achieve more by de-emphasising geographical differences and refocusing its energy on the commonality of humanity, pointing out that from space one can only see an earth without borders.
The Governor General explained that her visit to Nigeria was about showcasing “youth, innovation and technology.”
She disclosed that Canada would like to partner with Nigeria in the ongoing diversification of the economy.
“We wish you free and credible elections in 2019,” Payette added.