PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, expressed his commitment to ideals of democracy. He disclosed that he did not run for the 2015 election with desperation to win as people were made to believe.
This came as the Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Emmanuel Udom, told President Buhari to discourage politics of identity and ethnic cleavages, in order to promote national cohesion, peace and development.
Both spoke in Abuja, on Thursday, at Leadership Newspaper Awards, where Buhari, former President Goodluck Jonathan and Professor Attahiru Jega, former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were conferred with Leadership Person of the Year 2015 awards.
Buhari, while describing the 2015 presidential election as a watershed in the political history of Nigeria, said collectively, the prophets of doom, who had predicted the disintegration of the country after the election, were disappointed.
He said himself and other actors in the election were led by the higher ideal of the future of the country and the well-being of the people, rather than mere desire of politicians to win elections.
“It is, therefore, our commitment to this ideal, the patriotic zeal of President Jonathan, the impartiality of the electoral umpire, INEC and exemplary conduct of the political parties, foreign pressure and other actors that we collectively disappointed the prophets of doom, who had predicted the disintegration of the country after the 2015 general election.
“Our democracy has been strengthened by the outcome of the 2015 elections, as our people now have more faith in the electoral system in the sense that their votes would count when choosing political leaders at various levels.
“We, the political class, should build on the experience of the 2015 elections to nurture our democracy,” he said.