President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in The Hague, Netherlands, assured the International Criminal Court that his administration would deploy every power within its reach to conduct free, fair and violence-free polls in 2019.
Buhari made this pledge while delivering a keynote address at the 20th anniversary celebration of the ICC, being presided over by a Nigerian, Justice Chile Eboe-Osuji.
Buhari told the court that as the country inches towards the 2019 general election, his administration would not only strive hard to conduct free and fair polls, but would also ensure that violence which accompanied the 2011 elections and became a subject of investigation by ICC does not repeat itself.
Several young and innocent Nigerians particularly youth corps members were killed by some blood thirsty hounds in the North who were protesting the defeat of Buhari, the then presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The hues and cries which accompanied these brutal killings drew the attention of the ICC which promptly launched investigation into the tragic episode.
However, Buhari while recalling this tragic episode of 2011 and the subsequent intervention of ICC, assured the court that the trend would not repeat itself.
“In conclusion, let me intimate you that Nigeria is preparing to conduct general elections in 2019. Contrary to the tragic incidents that characterised the 2011 general elections in Nigeria which necessitated preliminary investigations by the International Criminal Court, I assure you that all hands are on deck to prevent any recurrence of such tragic incidents.
We shall do everything possible to ensure that Nigeria witnesses the conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections in 2019,” Buhari said.