President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday night in Lisbon, Portugal gave assurances of a free hand to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), reiterating his commitment to a peaceful, transparent, free, fair and credible elections next year.
Speaking at a meeting with representatives of Nigerians living in Portugal, the President said with the conclusion of the primaries of the political parties, all eyes were now on the 2023 elections in Nigeria.
‘‘We also look forward to a smooth transition to the next government. As I have said before, our Administration will not compromise on doing the right things and the welfare of Nigerians, home and abroad,’’ the President said.
Citing the last gubernatorial elections in Anambra and Ekiti states, the President noted that his administration has proven consistently its zero tolerance to interference in elections.
He stated his administration’s insistence that Nigerians should be allowed to vote for the party and candidate of their choice.
The President also used the occasion to caution against the use of social media to insult and incite from a safe and anonymous distance, urging the Diaspora to always promote Nigeria’s unity.
‘‘The world is a global village and technology has shrunk the world even more. Although you reside beyond Nigeria’s boundaries you can engage easily with the country. In fact, we see the impact of that engagement clearly on social media.
‘‘This platform has empowered Nigerians in the diaspora and given you great influence. As we have seen, however, social media can be a force for good as well as a force for evil.
‘‘Many countries, including our own have had to take strong measures against some social media platforms to curb their excesses and prevent them from destabilising our societies.
‘‘I, therefore, call upon you to use social media responsibly. We all want the best for our country and people, so let us strive to build, unite and prosper our nation and people and not to insult and incite from a safe and anonymous distance,’’ he said.
President Buhari expressed delight in the successful involvement of Diaspora in various fields such as agriculture, health care, education, ICT, and the food industry in Nigeria.
He noted that many countries, including Nigeria, have shown that their diaspora can be a veritable engine for growth and development.
Acknowledging the huge contribution the Diaspora have made to Nigeria’s economy, the President said: ‘In every field of human endeavour, be it the creative industries, sports, health, academia, Nigerians in the diaspora have thrived and leveraged on their skills to raise our country’s profile higher, economically, socially, technologically and culturally.”