President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed the claim that he is campaigning for Nigerians to vote for leaders they don't like.

He also called on Nigerians to come out en masse and participate in the supplementary elections scheduled for 17 states on Saturday March 23, 2019.

This was contained in a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), issued on Friday.

According to Shehu, Buhari, who thanked voters for reelecting him for a second term in office, said he would never forget their sacrifices in defying harsh weather conditions to vote for him.

The President said: "I was deeply overwhelmed by your show of incredible confidence in me, and I will never let you down. Thank you for your sincere show of support for me."

He, however, appealed to voters not to get tired of coming out to vote in the supplementary elections, adding ‘‘these elections are no less important than others before them."

The President appealed to voters to vote for the candidates they believe will deliver on promises because it is their “constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights.’’ 

He dismissed rumours and insinuations that he was forcing voters to elect candidates other than those they preferred. Describing the rumours as baseless, the President said at no time did he give instructions that the electorate should vote particular candidates.

"I believe in the will of the people, and I cannot, therefore, put pressure on voters to elect leaders they don't like," the President said emphatically.   

Buhari also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to ensure that the supplementary elections are conducted peacefully and in accordance with the law and constitution. 

The President also assured Nigerians that he is ready to work with elected representatives of the people, regardless of party platforms on which they are elected, adding that he would work in the best interest of the country and democracy.

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