Don't be used for election violence, Buhari begs Nigerian youths

The president urged youths to cooperate with all relevant agencies to ensure violence-free elections.

President Muhammadu Buhari [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]

The president made this special appeal while speaking at the final signing of a peace accord with other presidential candidates in Abuja on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

The 76-year-old urged youths to cooperate with all relevant agencies to ensure violence-free elections that'll not jeopardise the future of the country.

"I am making a special appeal to our young people: Do not allow yourselves to be used to cause violence. Please eschew all forms of violence and cooperate with all the relevant agencies during these elections. 

"We will vote according to Parties, but in the end, the only real Party is Nigeria, our country. Our elections are important only to the extent that they make her strong. Let us do our best and ask God to bless us and our country," he said.

The president also appealed to all Nigerians to use the elections as an opportunity to strengthen beliefs in a united country and prepare it for development.

He noted that he ensured that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was provided with all necessary resources to perform its job, and that security agencies are well aware of the importance of neutrality to the conduct of a free, fair and successful election.

He said, "I call on all Nigerians to contribute to the building of a viable polity by more active participation well beyond the mere casting of votes. Elections by themselves do not constitute democracy. It is the spirit of citizenship engagement that utilises the energy of citizens towards the attainment of good governance."

On signing the peace accord, the president said it's a commitment by all the candidates to ensure violence-free elections that'll keep the country safe.

"We, the Presidential candidates are here to sign and commit ourselves to do all that is possible to ensure the success of the elections but most importantly to accept the final outcome. I appeal to my fellow contestants to commit to these ideals so as to keep our country and people safe."

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, was among the presidential candidates that signed the peace accord at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

Atiku, a former vice president, appealed to Nigerians to cast their votes and conduct themselves in a peaceful manner, while also urging INEC and security agencies to be fair to every party.

"For emphasis and in the spirit of fair play, I also urge our security agencies, not to embark on indiscriminate arrests of members of the opposition, 24 to 48 hours before elections, as has been the case in previous elections," he said.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition party, PDP, have accused each other of making plans to disrupt the elections with violence in the event the results don't go in their favour.

The 2019 general elections will kick off with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 16 while Governorship and State Assembly elections will take place on March 2.

A total of 84,004,084 are registered to vote in the elections.

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