President Muhammadu Buhari has said he hopes to hand over quietly to his successor in 2023, adding that he intends to bequeath free and fair elections which he was a beneficiary of.
The president, according to a statement on Friday by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, spoke at a dinner with members of the legal team for the 2019 presidential election petition on Thursday in Abuja.
Buhari recounted that the turnout of Nigerians during his presidential campaigns to the 36 states of the federation in 2019 convinced him that his re-election was not a fluke.
“The number of people that turned out in every state across the country was more than anybody can buy or force,” he said.
‘‘This gave me so much confidence and the election proved that with the votes I got. That is why I insist that elections must be free and fair because I am a clear successor to a free and fair election.”
The president told the legal team that he was already looking forward to a peaceful handover in 2023, stressing that he was morally bound to fulfil that wish.
He said: ‘‘Morally, I want to have a clear conscience. I swore by the Holy Book that I will abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘‘I will continue to do my best and I hope that by 2023, I can hand over quietly to whoever succeeds me and I wish him the best of luck.”
The president commended the legal team led by Wole Olanipekun for the outstanding legal successes recorded in the presidential election petition.
Mr Olanipekun said the legal victory was won based on the facts of law, stressing that the president never used his position or office to influence the decision of the courts.