President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said that the do-or-die mentality to politics was a threat to free and fair elections because the actors are more focused on winning than caring about a fair outcome that reflects the will of the people. 

President Buhari, in a message to voters, political parties, election officials, and security personnel, advised political parties, candidates, and security agents to behave responsibly in the Saturday Edo State governorship elections. 

“I am passionately committed to free and fair elections, but my commitment is not enough if other actors at ground zero refuse to abide by the rules,” he said. 

In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President added, “I want to see democratic standards in the country raised higher at every level, but these cannot be achieved when politicians resort to do-or-die methods to gain power by any means or machination.

“The do-or-die mentality to politics is a threat to free and fair elections because the actors are more focused on winning than caring about a fair outcome that reflects the will of the people.” 

Buhari appealed to all political parties and their candidates to behave peacefully and respect law and order. 

He also advised election officials and security agents “to remain neutral to ensure free and fair elections and avoid any action(s) capable of compromising the integrity of the elections.” 

He stressed that “conducting free and fair elections is one of my main concerns for our democracy, and I want this commitment to be one of the legacies I will leave behind when I depart office.”

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