President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that he will withdraw from politics in 2023 at the end of his current tenure.
In a letter released in Abuja on New Year’s Day to Nigerians to mark the beginning of the new decade, he said: “I will be standing down in 2023 and will not be available in any future elections.
“But I am determined to help strengthen the electoral process both in Nigeria and across the region, where several ECOWAS members go to the polls this year.”
President Buhari also insisted that his administration will abide by the rule of law having previously come under criticism for paying little attention to it.
He promised more engagement of citizens to promote dialogue, partnership and understanding.
“Our actions at all times will be governed by the rule of law. At the same time, we shall look always to engage with all well-meaning leaders and citizens of goodwill to promote dialogue, partnership and understanding,” he said.
The president also stated that nation’s security forces will be held to the highest standards of professionalism and respect for human rights, saying: “Our security forces will receive the best training and modern weaponry, and in turn will be held to the highest standards of professionalism, and respect for human rights. We will use all the human and emerging technological resources available to tackle kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery.”
He added: “We need a democratic government that can guarantee peace and security to realise the full potential of our ingenious, entrepreneurial and hard-working people.”
The president noted the success of the current economic diversification effort, saying that for the first time in a long time, the nation’s festivities did not witness the consumption of imported commodities that can be produced in the country.
On the closure of the nation’s land borders, he said Nigeria cannot afford to allow its economic plans to be sabotaged, saying therefore that the borders will remain closed until enough safeguards are in place
He added: “The joint land border security exercise currently taking place is meant to safeguard Nigeria’s economy and security. No one can doubt that we have been good neighbours and good citizens. We have been the helpers and shock-absorbers of the sub-region but we cannot allow our well-planned economic regeneration plans to be sabotaged. As soon as we are satisfied that the safeguards are adequate, normal cross-border movements will be resumed.”