President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, in the Netherlands, assured the international community of a free, fair, and peaceful 2019 general election in Nigeria.
President Buhari said contrary to the tragic incidents that characterised the 2011 general elections, necessitating preliminary investigations by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the conduct of 2019 elections will be peaceful.
‘‘Nigeria is preparing to conduct general elections in 2019. 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,” he said.
Nigeria’s President is in the Netherlands to participate in activities to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), at The Hague.
President Buhari’s special adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in a statement on Tuesday added that President Buhari also called on the States Parties to support the International Court with jurisdiction over serious cases of corruption and illicit financial flows by state actors.
“A strong and effective ICC has the potential to send a powerful message about the international community’s commitment to accountability, a message that will be heard by both victims and perpetrators. Equally, a strong and effective ICC demonstrates the international community’s commitment to the rule of law.
“A strong and effective ICC can also act as a catalyst for other justice efforts, expanding the reach of accountability. These could include serious cases of corruption by state actors that severely compromise the development efforts of countries and throw citizens into greater poverty,” Buhari said during his keynote address at the Solemn Hearing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the ICC,” Buhari said.
He added that, as the African Union Champion on Anti-corruption, issues relating to cases of illicit financial flows where countries are complicit and obstruct repatriation of stolen assets are dear to his heart.
The President also appreciated the judges of the Court for electing ‘‘a cherished son of Nigeria’’ as President.
‘‘Let me start by congratulating you, Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, on your election as President of the International Criminal Court, and also thank the judges of the Court for electing you, a cherished son of Nigeria. Nigeria is very proud of you, Mr President,’’ he said.
President Buhari is the only President invited to grace the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the ICC Rome Statute.
Over 25 high-level state officials, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, O-Gon Kwon, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, ICC Registrar Peter Lewis, UN Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares, and other special guests, attended the event.
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