What I told security agencies before Edo polls – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that he told security agencies to prevent thugs from humiliating voters during the last governorship election in Edo state.”

He made the disclosure when the re-elected governor of Edo state, Mr Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shauibu visited him at the state house in Abuja.

According to the President, “If contestants have too much money and they decide to spray, so be it. But what I insist is, nobody should go and raise a counter force to the government, arm heavily-drugged thugs to go and humiliate people.”

He told his guests that, “I want Nigerians to appreciate that I respect them as Nigerians and that I am bound by the oath I have taken, that their security is in the hands of God and in the hands of the government, which I am leading.”

“I thank you for bringing your deputy and supporters to come and see me after beating my party. I am supposed to preside over all Nigerian interests whether I like it or not, but my single desire is to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer. That message I got across to the Inspector General of Police, that elections must be free and fair.”

President Buhari noted that as the leader of the ruling party, and despite the fact that the party has lost some states in elections, he wishes to leave behind a political culture based on integrity.

He added jocularly that he was congratulating the Edo governor “reluctantly” because he defeated the candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress.

In his remarks, Governor Obaseki thanked the President for ensuring that fair play reigned during the election which saw him victorious.

“You would recall a couple of weeks before the election, I came to see you and you assured me that we were going to have a free, peaceful and credible election. That is what we had during the election of 19th September and the whole world has acclaimed that Edo election was perhaps one of the best conducted in recent times in Nigeria. This could not have been possible without your insistence that the right things be done, and for that, we want to say thank you very much.”

He also thanked the President for his congratulatory message, assuring him that the message “has been internalised, that it is God that made this election possible, therefore I should be humble about the election and also magnanimous in victory.”

He pledged his unalloyed loyalty and support and that of the people of Edo State to the President and the federal government.

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