Buhari to Nigerians: Come out, vote your conscience

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“As your President, I hereby ask all Nigerians with voting cards to participate in defining the future of our nation by exercising your democratic rights tomorrow. I urge you to go out and vote.”
With the above words, President Muhammadu Buhari roused Nigerians to shake off the effect of the disappointment of the postponement of the general elections last week, urging them to troop out tomorrow to perform their civic responsibilities of electing the leaders that will pilot the affairs of the nation in the next four years.

Here is the full text of the NATIONAL BROADCAST BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
ON FRIDAY 22ND FEBRUARY 2019

Dear Nigerians,
Finally, we have reached the eve of the rescheduled first round of this year’s general elections.
Tomorrow, the polls open. Tomorrow, we affirm that Nigeria stands as a democracy and that no worldly hand can deter us from this wise and fitting path we have chosen for ourselves.
While democracy is the most beneficial way to select a nation’s leaders, it is far from the easiest thing to achieve and maintain.
It requires a combination of patience, tolerance, compassion, diligence, wisdom and hope. These traits exist in us the Nigerian people. Because of who we are, democracy has the chance to flourish in this land.
Thus, I commend all of you for your patience and peaceful conduct so far during this electoral season and especially during this intervening week following the postponement of the February 16 elections.
According to the daily INEC public briefings given this week, the Electoral Commission says it is ready and fully prepared to conduct the election in a free, fair and transparent manner.
I believe INEC realises the profound and weighty duty that rests upon it.
We must cast aside doubt and have faith that INEC will rise to the occasion. We must believe and encourage INEC to fulfil and honour this responsibility it owes to our country.
As your President, I hereby ask all Nigerians with voting cards to participate in defining the future of our nation by exercising your democratic rights tomorrow. I urge you to go out and vote.
I say this because elections are the cornerstone of representative governance. And voting constitutes the highest and best expression of the sovereign will of the people to choose the government that best represents them.
It is only upon the freely expressed will of the people that government truly dedicated to the welfare, rights and interests of the people can be found.
To vote means that you believe in Nigeria and the excellent things the future holds for this nation and its people.
No matter our political leanings, we all believe in Nigeria, in the noble principles for which it stands and in the values we strive for our beloved nation to uphold.
All who are able must vote so that we may better perfect this democracy and continue to build the greater nation we seek.
Do not be afraid of the rumours of violence and unrest. Our security agencies have worked diligently to ensure that adequate security measures are in place.
You will be able to vote in an atmosphere of openness and peace, devoid of fear from threat or intimidation.
International and domestic monitors and observers are assured of their safety and freedom of movement needed to perform their important functions.
As we thank domestic monitors and observers for their contributions to our democracy, we also thank the international groups for the friendship and concern they have demonstrated to our nation.
We appreciate their efforts in encouraging us to further entrench and strengthen our democracy.
I ask that you embrace and hold on to the importance of the moment soon to be upon us.
Honour your civic duty as voters by going to the polls tomorrow to vote for the government of your choice, for the government that will lead Nigeria toward its finest destiny.
As citizens there is no greater duty than this and no greater honour. Tomorrow, I know you will once again make Nigeria proud of its people.
May God bless our democracy and forever bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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