The President made this declaration while speaking at the Police Conference three-day retreat with the theme ‘Imperative of the Nigeria Police Strategy for a Peaceful Election’ in Owerri.
He said he was interested in an election Nigerians would accept and be happy with the outcome.
At the same event, the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, insisted that the commission would abide strictly by the transmission of election results from the polling units to the INEC headquarters.
According to Buhari, “I am delighted to be at the conference. This conference will enable us to discuss the role and strategy of the Police as the lead agency in the 2023 election.
“It provides an opportunity to discuss the best way to achieve the 2023 election. I want to reaffirm that as the President, one of the legacies I will leave is the conduct of a credible and acceptable election and that Nigerians must be allowed to elect the President of their choice.
“That is the reason I signed the amended Electoral Bill.
“For us, the time is now for reform. That is why we are giving support to the Police that is why I signed the Police Trust Fund, and police academy to give the police a legal framework to work effectively’
“As well as the approval of a new welfare for police officers and approval and release of funds for recruitment of police officers as part of the way to address the issue of unemployment in the country.
“We want the police to remain apolitical. This is how our election can be credible. I charge the police to deliver the nation during the 2023 general election.
“Police should sustain their standards so that the outcome of the 2023 election will be the reflection of the people’s choices,” Buhari said.
Earlier, in his remark, the chief host and the Imo state governor, Hope Uzodimma, said: “My support to the Nigeria Police Force is because of the support I have been getting from my President, Muhammadu Buhari.
“I want to say this; the coming of our President is further assurance that will convince our people and Nigerians of the level of security of lives and properties we have achieved in our state.”
The governor said he learned some of the reasons the police chose Imo State was because of the “Successful containment of insecurity in the state and my continued support for the unity of this country.
“I foresee a very peaceful election in 2023 and that every election issue should be resolved without bitterness.”
The INEC Chairman, represented by a National Commissioner of INEC, Alkali Modibbo, said: “This retreat’s theme is apt, with elections fast approaching.
“As we speak, it remains four months to the 2023 elections. The relationship with the police will be from the bottom to the top.
“It is a symbiotic relationship, especially now with a voter projection of 93 million across the 36 states of the federation.
“Police require the collaboration of the members of the public. In addition, I am happy that this conference includes complying with the global standard in the security of elections.
Political parties should play by the rules. Parties should concentrate on the issue-based campaign.
“No more use of incident form; Ekiti state election was good. The Osun state election was better. The 2023 election will be the best.
“The results will be transmitted from the polling unit to the headquarters of the INEC. The commission will work with the police to conduct this election for credible and inclusive elections in Nigeria.”
“This retreat will unveil the strategic plan for the 2023 election. Our plans for the election will produce a credible election in 2023 that will be acceptable to Nigerians.
“The countdown to the 2023 general elections may present new security threats.
“However, we will provide the needed intelligence to make the election work.”
He thanked the President for strengthening the laws for effective policing.