Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday visited two northeastern states of Borno and Yobe wooing eligible voters in the general election next month.
Buhari led top leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to Maiduguri, capital of Borno, known as the hot-bed of the dreaded Boko Haram sect, and Damaturu, capital of Yobe, with the aim of encouraging voters to support his party and its candidates in the elections.
The region is the part of Nigeria most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. The terror group’s activities have been largely limited to the three northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe by security forces.
Boko Haram has recently launched a series of attacks in northeast Nigeria, hoisting its flags over several towns and overrunning a multinational military base.
In Maiduguri, Buhari promised to adopt sound security and economic transformation programs to address the nagging social and economic challenges facing the country, if re-elected.
The president also promised to take the fight against corruption to a logical conclusion.
He said his administration had achieved significant progress in the campaign against corruption, economic diversification and improvement of security.
The president said his administration had adopted practical measures to reduce poverty, provide employment opportunities to the teeming unemployed youths and enhance farmers’ access to fertilizer and inputs.
He added that his administration would auction houses and other property seized from corrupt officials and transfer the funds to national treasury to support viable projects.
While launching his re-election bid in Damaturu, Buhari pledged to improve on the gains recorded in the security sector.
Addressing a mammoth crowd, the Nigerian leader assured the people that his re-election for a second term would provide him with the opportunity to build on his previous achievements.
According to him, only the people of Borno and Yobe states are in a better position to assess whether there are improvements in the security sector or not.
The president also pledged the commitment of his administration to building a robust economy that would provide employment opportunities for Nigerians.
He vowed to ensure that public resources embezzled would be recovered and used to enhance the welfare of the people.
Buhari’s main challenger ahead of the 2019 general elections is former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who is the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Nigeria’s electoral body has expressed its readiness to conduct free, fair and credible polls.
A total of 22,643 political candidates, representing 91 political parties, will contest for 1,504 positions during the general elections.
Out of that figure are 73 presidential hopefuls and 1,158 seeking governorship positions in 29 states.
The electoral body earlier confirmed that 1,886 candidates had been greenlighted to contest in the 109 senatorial districts across the country and 4,634 candidates contesting for the 306 House of Representatives seats.
Another 14,643 candidates would contest for 991 posts in the various state houses of assembly.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, will hold the general election on Feb. 16 to elect the president and national assembly members, and March 2 to elect state governors and state houses of assembly members. Enditem