My dear citizens of Gombe State,

  1. It is with deep sense of responsibility that I address you today on the importance of elections in our democratic culture, and on the need to ensure that such elections are peaceful, free, fair and credible.
  2. In less than 24 hours, you will be expected to, alongside other eligible Nigerians, proceed to your various polling units in order to cast your votes to elect the leadership that will steer the affairs of this country for the next four years.
  3. The freedom to choose our leaders is among the fundamental tenets of our democratic tradition. It promotes accountability in governance and guarantees the peaceful and orderly transition of power from one administration to another. I’m one of the beneficiaries of that tradition. About four years ago, I was freely elected by the good people of Gombe State to serve as your governor. At the same time, you also elected President Buhari to serve as your president for the second time.
  4. It is therefore my honor to lead Gombe at this crucial point in its history. I have no greater objective than to see our country (and Gombe in particular) deliver elections that are peaceful, fair and credible. I have strong confidence in the electoral process, and in the professionalism of our security agencies. In the past 4 years, we have witnessed innovative reforms by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) that are aimed at improving the efficiency and credibility of the electoral process. I want to thank the leadership of INEC and President Buhari for his courage and patriotism.
  5. My dear citizens, tomorrow you have an important decision to make, that of electing a new president to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, who has exhausted his constitutional limit of two terms, as well as electing those who will represent you at the national assembly. Your future lies in your PVC. Therefore, use it wisely by electing a leadership that will help in uniting the country, promote its peaceful coexistence and deliver shared prosperity to all Nigerians.
  6. I implore on all of us to ensure that the elections are conducted in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. I call on all political parties, individuals and groups to shun all forms of violence and incitements before, during and after the elections. The security agencies are ever ready to ensure that people who are willing to vote are able to do so without any fear, intimidation or harassment; and to deal decisively with any politician or group that seeks to foment trouble.
  7. The peace, unity and stability of Gombe State (and by extension Nigeria) are bigger than the political ambition of any individual or group. In my responsibility as your governor and chief security officer, I took an oath to protect our hard-earned peace and stability. I will not allow nor tolerate any attempt to undermine the elections in order to serve the evil agenda of any individual or group.
  8. For us in Gombe State, we have a tradition of peace and diversity that we deeply cherish. Since the First Republic, Gombe is reputed for its political non-violence, tolerance and stability. We approach elections as a family affair, devoid of rancor, ill-will and bitterness. I’m committed to upholding that tradition, and to providing the enabling environment for our people to freely exercise their franchise.
  9. The scourge of fake news, hate speech and campaigns of incitement continue to threaten the peaceful conduct of elections across the world. With the rise of social media platforms, they are becoming difficult to track and control. Combating this challenge is therefore our collective responsibility. I am calling on all stakeholders to desist from spreading and promoting fake news and hateful political propaganda, or participating in any conduct capable of undermining the credibility of the elections.
  10. Our religious and traditional leaders have a huge role to play in ensuring the orderly conduct of the 2023 elections. I would like to thank them for their cooperation and patriotism so far. I urge them to intensify their sermons and prayers for the peaceful conduct of the elections, and to refrain from any campaign of sectarian incitement and violence. I also call on our traditional rulers to be fatherly in their conduct, and to exercise greater responsibility over their subjects.
  11. I would like to commend our security agencies for their undying commitment and loyalty to the country. The security agencies are an important safeguard of our democracy. Through your sacrifice and determination, you are working day and night to protect our democracy from enemies both internal and external. I would like to assure you of my unconditional support and cooperation.
  12. To civil society groups, including domestic and international election observer missions, I urge you to approach your assignment with patriotism and fear of God. Remember that elections will come and go, but Nigeria remains. You must resist the temptation to become willing tools at the hands of some domestic or international groups seeking to tarnish the reputation of our country.
  13. On a final note, I want to call on our people to continue on the path of peace, tolerance and mutual respect. Our diverse political choices should in no way affect our relationship with friends, relatives or neighbors. Let’s vote in peace, shake hands and embrace each other, and wait for the result. Whatever the outcome is, let’s commit our affairs to Almighty Allah, for He is the best disposer of affairs. He gives power to whoever he wishes at his own will.
  14. With these few remarks, I wish us all successful, free, fair and credible elections. Thank you for listening and God bless you all!

God Bless Gombe State!
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!

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