Abuja President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said that those predicting and prophesying doom for the country on the basis of the 2015 general elections would be disappointed.
Jonathan stated this at an interfaith conference organised by the Interfaith Initiative for Peace with the theme: “The Imperative of Interfaith Understanding and Cooperation for Responsible Politics,’’ in Abuja.
He renewed his promise to Nigerians and the international community that the country would be stronger and more united after the elections.
“I once again assure Nigerians and the international community that the 2015 elections will come and go, and Nigeria will stand stronger.
“The Nigerians I know and interact with everyday are only asking for one thing in the elections; transparency, free and fair elections, and I have promised them.
“They want to vote and they want their votes to count; they don’t want to be molested, they don’t want ballot boxes to be hijacked by criminals.
“If they are convinced that the process is free, fair and credible they have no reason to be angry; nobody can fight against one man, one vote, one woman one vote, one youth one vote.
“And government will make sure that Nigerians are not killed during and after elections.’’
Jonathan chided some members of the opposition and even labour leaders who were opposed to the deployment of heavy security personnel to protect lives and property during elections.
He reminded them of the killings and destruction that greeted the 2011 elections, including the killing of 10 youth corps members in Bauchi, and vowed never to let it happen again.
The president also emphasised that the governorship elections held in the country in the last four years attested to his commitment to free and fair polls in the country.
According to him, the defeat of PDP in some of the polls shows that he is not using state security apparatus to manipulate elections in favour of his party as alleged by the opposition.
“My promise of free and fair election is clear. All governorship elections that have been conducted so far, you can agree with me that they have been free and fair.
“I am from the PDP, the ruling party, but I don’t use that strength to make sure that PDP must win by all means.
“PDP has lost elections in Edo State; we lost in Anambra State, we lost election in Ondo State, of course only two days back, we lost in Osun.
“But we know and we are saying that this country must change.
“The kind of election we had in the 1960s that led to the crisis in the West that threatened the sovereignty of this country cannot come up again.
“The kind of elections we had during the Second Republic where some people won elections as governors and ran away from their states cannot come up again.
“Nigerians must vote and our votes must count. If I was interested in manipulating elections, my party would not be losing all these governorship elections.
“All what we want is credible elections.’’
Jonathan also stated that Nigeria’s relevance at the world state was as a result of its diversity, and not because of crude oil.
According to him, Nigeria is being celebrated as a great nation by other African leaders, and is the hope of the black man because of the 1914 amalgamation of the southern and northern protectorates. (NAN)