President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria says the nation will not go to war over the elections, assuring Nigerians that he is committed to ensuring that the elections will be free, fair and credible.
The President made the statement at a presidential media chat held on Wednesday.
He decried the high level of mudslinging politicians have adopted in their campaigns and expressed optimism that the elections would be peaceful.
President Jonathan further stressed that the shift in the date of the election was not about him but about the need to hold a credible election in the nation, emphasising that he was not consulted on the election postponement.
“We will have a peaceful election. I am confident that the military and other security agencies will provide needed security during the elections. Nigeria will not go to war over elections.”
During the chat, the President gave assurance that the over 200 girls abducted from a Government Secondary School in Chibok would be rescued.
“The Case Of Chibok Girls”
“The case of the Chibok girls. Now that we are working with Chad, I believe that in the next few weeks the story of the Chibok girls will get better. May be rescue some of them.
“I can not give a certain date, but we are working with our neighbours and we will comb the whole of that area. Just give us some time.
“We will recover them alive. They have been in the hands of the criminals for a very long time.
“I am not God, but I am more hopeful now than before in terms of combing the whole areas because of the cooperation we have now with neighbouring countries,” he said.
The President dismissed insinuations that the the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would be sent on retirement leave and replaced before the elections of March 28.
He said the stories about a plan to sack the INEC chairman belonged to the garbage world.
President Jonathan assured Nigerians that the elections would hold on the rescheduled dates and that he would “hand over power if he loses”.
“In 2011 I said that I will conduct a free and fair election and that I will go if I lose.
“I said that I will be happy to go home because the nation is more important than any individual. If as at that time I said I was ready to conduct a free and fair election and that I will leave if I lost I will hand over on Mar 29 to anybody that wins the presidential election.
“Do not be disturbed by the stories that are not real. The president will not send INEC chairman on leave and bring another person. Those stories belong to the garbage world. Less than 20 per cent of the stories on the social media are credible,” President Jonathan said.