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Ahead of 2019 election, Nigeria’s President warns against dirty politics

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari

LAGOS, Nigeria––On Monday, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari warmed his country’s politicians to avoid exploiting religion and ethnicity by linking ethnicity with religion and religion with politics as the country’s 2019 election comes closer.

Buhari stressed that dirty politics should be shunned at all costs if Nigerians must live in peace and harmony.

“In this respect, the rest of Nigeria could learn from the Southwestern States which have successfully internalized religion, ethnicity, and politics,” he added.

The Nigerian leader said political discourse should be conducted with civility, decorum and in a constitutional manner.

“We all have a collective responsibility to strengthen our democracy and entrench the rule of law,” he said.

“We should draw encouragement from the series of by-elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last year which were generally violence-free and their outcomes adjudged to be free and fair,” Buhari asserted.

Nigeria holds general elections in February 2019, and according to Nigeria’s Constitution, the elections should be held not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days to the end of the incumbent’s tenure.

In matters of national security, President Buhari declared to his countrymen and women: “We have since beaten Boko Haram.”

“Isolated attacks still occur, but even the best-policed countries cannot prevent determined criminals from committing terrible acts of terror as we have seen during the past years in Europe, Asia, Middle East, elsewhere in Africa and in America,” he added.

He told his fellow Nigerian citizens that security of life and property is still at the top of his administration’s agenda.

Buhari said urban crimes and terrorism are worldwide phenomena and that the security forces are continuously adapting their responses to changing threats from urban crimes and terrorism.

Addressing the issue of kidnappings, President Buhari said his government had taken “immediate short-term measures to combat this new evil creeping into societies.”

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.

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