By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja
The United Nation’s prediction that 2019 elections in Nigeria will be credible and violent free is yet another indication of the world’s confidence in Nigeria’s current administration according to the presidency.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, a day after a United Nations representative made the prediction in a Channels TV interview, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, expressed pleasure at the world body’s accurate observation of the trends in President Buhari’s government, which could only lead down the path of free and fair elections come 2019.
“The Buhari government doesn’t believe in cheap propaganda,” he said. “It’s not about responding to the attacks, false allegations and insinuations of the PDP or of the still very active media machinery of the previous government. We believe in taking active steps to ensure that the future of Nigeria is better than it is today and we are glad to see that the United Nations has acknowledged this.”
During the Channels TV interview, Head of UN Office for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambers, had pointed out the credible and peaceful local elections that have so far taken place in different states across Nigeria, and used this as one of the indices to judge what to expect for the presidential elections in 2019.
“Under the government of President Buhari, a number of credible elections have been conducted in states and local governments across Nigeria and, so far, there has been no cause for fear or worry,” the SSA Media said.
He added that the 2015 elections which saw the historic election of President Buhari – the first time in Nigeria and one of the rare occasions in Africa when an incumbent was soundly defeated in an election – were credible simply because of the presence and diligence of Professor Attahiru Jega.
“ At one of its meetings, the Council of States last year put on record the appreciation of the nation for the conduct of the 2015 elections and commended the leadership of Professor Attahiru Jega as Chairman of the Commission for bringing that about.
“In addition to the steadfastness of the INEC, the ECOWAS, AU, EU, UN and other international bodies also had to be on guard to ensure that there was no opportunity for the kind of foolishness we saw at the INEC collation center from people in the circle of power to flourish,” Malam Garba said.
“But, in 2019, the international community will have nothing to fear, and I am happy that the UN can already sense that several months in advance.”