President Muhammadu Buhari has said it is shameful for Nigerians to experience brutality during elections at this stage of its political development.
Buhari made the statement on Thursday at the second All Progressives Congress National Executive Council meeting held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
He said more Nigerians were killed or killed themselves before and during the March 19 Rivers State re-run elections more than any particular state.
“At this stage of our political development, to be brutal is shameful and as a government, I promise we will do something by the next general elections,” he said.
The President said he would like to be remembered after leaving office for being fair to officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their duties during elections.
He added that he would also love to be remembered for ensuring that Nigerians exercise their franchise with confidence for whoever they wanted and in whichever elections.
Buhari said though the leadership of INEC had been changed, the leadership of the military, security agencies, INEC and Nigerians should know that he respects them.
Buhari urged the electorate to see their Permanent Voters Card as a personal entitlement, which they could use to vote into power candidates of their choice at any election.
He said: “If they voluntarily sell their PVC, it is part of their right; let them sell it and remain at home and not participate in any election.
“But let law enforcement agencies give them the confidence that nobody will come with money to hire thugs, give them drugs and stop them from exercising their fundamental right.”
Commenting on the state of the economy, the President said the fall in the price of crude oil was a disaster since Nigeria is a mono-economy.
He said it was unbelievable that 27 out of 36 states of the federation were not solvent and were not able to pay the basic salaries of their workers.
He said: “If from 1999 to 2003, oil sold for above $100 per barrel and Nigeria exported about 2 million barrels per day, how come we failed to make arrangement to cushion the effects of a probable volatile oil market.”
Buhari blamed the Peoples Democratic Party-led administration for failing to take advantage of the revenue generated during the years of oil boom to fix the economy.
“The APC-led government is now picking the pieces and so, there is no need complaining,” he said.
He said that the APC administration was also making efforts to create employment and produce goods and services.
He said militants in the Niger Delta were sending conflicting messages.
He said while some of them were ready to drop their arms to join in building the nation, others were still sabotaging installations.
He said the action of some of the militants was hindering investments in the area, adding that investors would not want to invest in an area where they would not make profit.
The President said his administration was doing its best with the military to persuade the militants to join in building the nation.