The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to make his promise of free and fair elections in 2023 a worthy legacy he can leave behind after his eight years in office.
President Buhari had, during a virtual summit for democracy organized by President Joe Biden of the United States on Friday, assured Nigerians and the international community of a free and fair election in 2023, pledging peaceful transfer of power to another administration after his tenure.
In its reaction to the pledge by the President on Sunday, the CNPP, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Willy Ezugwu, said President Buhari should go beyond promises and pledges “and leave a legacy of free and fair elections.”
The CNPP urged the President to also “as a matter of unforgettable legacy, sign the electoral act amendments into law without fear or favour.”
According to the statement, “There are two remarkable legacies left behind by President Goodluck Jonathan: he signed the Freedom of Information Bill into law and conducted free and fair elections that saw an opposition party defeating a sitting President in Nigeria.
“Then President Jonathan went beyond that and conceded defeat even before the announcement of the final results of the presidential election in which he was a major and interested actor in, being a sitting President.
“The world will always stand at attention for a true leader with a democratic heart who is ready at all times to remain on the part of the rule of law, justice and equity.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to be such a leader in the remaining days of his tenure and give Nigerians credible, free and fair elections in 2023.
“This call has become necessary in view of the fact that all promises made by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their presidential candidate during the 2015 and 2019 electioneering campaigns were not kept.
“For instance, today, Nigerians and the international communities, including the government of the United Kingdom, have been urging President Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act 2021 into law.
“His foot-dragging attitude and the body language of the Presidency cast doubts on the sincerity of Mr President to keep his promises on free and fair elections in the country.
“It is also about time Nigerians saw electoral offenders in jail for their roles in violating the sanctity of the electoral process or for altering the will of the people during elections”, the CNPP concluded.