As Nigeria prepares for another general election in 2019, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, has urged Nigerians not to vote based on promises but on the record of those making promises.
In a video message where he wished Nigerians a Merry Christmas, Symington reminded Nigerians that their future is in their hands, stressing that no foreign power can solve their problems.
According to him, all solutions to Nigeria’s problems can only come from within.
“As you go into 2019 you will be facing a new round of elections. What you do in those elections would be crucial not just for you but for all of us. And as you get ready, I ask you to think of three things. “First, charge your potential leaders with this notion: Say not just what you say you will do for the country but what have you already done. Second, it is incredibly important that you recognise that in a democracy, it is you who gets to make the decision,” Symington explained.
Apparently referring to the increasing cases of vote-buying and other electoral frauds, Symington urged Nigerians to guard their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) jealously and not sell it.
The US envoy urged Nigerians to report any malpractices they observe on the day of any of the elections, adding that the task of improving democracy is a collective one.
“On election day and every day, the citizens of Nigeria are the ones that lead this country so take good care of your voter cards, make sure no one convinces you to either give it to them or sell it to them and on election day.
“I hope you will vote and I hope you will vote for people who don’t just say the right thing but people who you are convinced based on their records will do the right thing for you and for others,” he added.
Symington praised the many Nigerians who had in one way or the other contributed to the development of the country.
He identified the 83-year-old Imam of Nghar village, Gashish District in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA), Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, for special praise.
The 83-year-old Abubakar had saved about 300 Christians on June 24 when suspected herdsmen invaded about 15 communities in the Barkin Ladi LGA, killing over 200 persons.