By Teslim Olawore
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday preach messages of peace and hope for a better Nigeria in the brand new year.
The president urged Nigerians to enter the New Year with caution being an election year, saying the polls need not become a do-or-die affair.
Buhari in his New Year message restate his commitment to conduct a free, fair and credible elections and expressed happiness that many presidential candidates had signed a pact for peaceful and violence-free 2019 polls.
He argued that the greatest number of Nigerians trust in the readyness of his administration to provide a level playing field for all candidates at the polls, the president warned those he accused of promoting lies and beating drums of war, saying such individuals are only fighting a lost battle.
According to him, Nigerians yearn for a secure and prosperous country with good infrastructure development, a task he said his administration had been committed to since its election in 2015.
Against this background, the president said the resources at his administration’s disposal had been well managed and secured from the reach of a few people whom he accused of greed as he sought the cooperation of all in the effort to build the nation of their dream.
“2019 will be an election year for us. In about two months, the polls are due, and we will elect leaders into various offices, at national and state levels. As I welcome you into 2019, I also reiterate my many promises and declarations that the general elections will be free, fair and credible, he said.
“Elections need not be do-or-die affair, and we should not approach that eventuality in a democracy with trepidation and mortal fear. Happily, a large number of presidential candidates have committed to peace, and peace we shall have.
“Those who continue to trumpet falsehood and negativity are on their own, fighting a losing battle. The greater number of Nigerians are trusting, and believing that we shall deliver on our promises for a level playing field at the polls, and that is what we shall do.
“Nigerians desire peace, security, prosperity, inclusiveness and infrastructural development, a nation they can be proud of, a country that can hold its own among the nations.
“That is the journey we have embarked on since we came onboard in 2015, and we are not distracted as we move on. We are resolved to build a country in which the resources are utilised for the benefit of the largest number, and not appropriated by a privileged few in their never ending quest to satisfy their greed.
“We are on this mission together, and I assure you of a firm commitment to the ideals of a safe, secure, fair, just and prosperous country.”
Acknowledging that the country has been confronted with a myriad of security, economic, political and social crises, Buhari restated the promise of his administration to conquer such challenges.
He appreciated Nigerians for their support and collaboration in the past three years adding that he looked forward to the year 2019 with great hope that the people would give him yet another opportunity to retain power for another four years.
He said Nigeria was making steady and sustainable growth in every area of its national life, arguing that his search for power was not for any ulterior motive but rather to serve as a platform for service to the country that is devoid of selfish objectives.
He added, “I appreciate your support and collaboration in previous years, and look forward to same in 2019, and beyond, as I hope you will renew the mandate you overwhelmingly gave us in 2015, for another term.
“We are motivated by nothing other than service to motherland, and service without selfishness or personal interest. I can assure you all that we are making steady and sustainable progress in all areas of national life. Those who are unbiased can see and appreciate the progress the country has made since 2015.
“A New Year provides opportunity for renewal of commitment, and I invite you to rededicate yourselves to the vision of a Nigeria that works for all.”