President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday reassured Nigerians that the forthcoming general elections in 2019 will be free and fair.
Buhari gave the assurance in Jos at the graduation ceremony of Senior Executive Course 40, 2018 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), KURU.
“We as a government also wish to reiterate our commitment to ensuring that the elections are free, fair and credible as part of measures to deepen our democracy,
“As we prepare for the forthcoming elections in 2019, Nigerians are once again enjoined to exercise their civic obligation as stakeholders in our development project,” he said.
The president who was represented by the Minister of Defence, Brig.- Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), said that his administration was committed to good governance.
Buhari stated that the inherited circumstances put them under extreme difficulty, particularly when measured against the expectations of Nigerians who voted for them expecting better governance.
He pointed out that the Federal Government developed and implemented some policies that would quickly get the country out of the unsavoury situation.
“We will not allow few evil forces in our midst whose only agenda is to attain political power by inciting hate and intolerance among the citizens.
“They exploit and manipulate the fault lines in the society to destroy our collective peace, mutual coexistence and social harmony.
“They think that they will change the narrative; and the people would not ask them to account for what they looted from the common wealth” he added.
He said that outputs from training programmes and research activities by NIPSS had contributed over the years in formulating, refining and implementing policy in various aspects of our national development.
According to him, the Institute has produced vibrant alumni who have occupied strategic positions or are still in key positions contributing their quota in national development.
The President assured that government would continue to provide the Institute with the necessary support to enable it play greater role in developing policies as well as providing direction for good governance in the nation.
Mr Jonathan Juma, NIPSS Acting Director General, said that the theme of the course, “Strengthening Internal Security Framework and Community Policing in Nigeria: Models, Policy Options and Strategies,” as approved by the president, was apt.
Juma said that course was composed of 66 participants with 18 from armed forces, 13 from the federal civil service and 10 from the state civil service.
According to him, eight were from the paramilitary, six from Nigeria Police Force, five from the presidency, 4 from organised private sector and two from tertiary institutions.
Also speaking, Mr Jonah Ambisa, a permanent secretary from Kaduna State and one of the graduands, said that he was better equipped to contribute to the development of the nation.
Ambisa said that as strategic leaders, much was expected from them to steer the ship of a better society.
“And as the motto the Institute is ‘towards a better society’ we hope to influence the society to have a better future,” he stated. (NAN)