Former President Goodluck Jonathan has advised flagbearers of political parties in Nigeria’s upcoming elections to prioritize non-violence and peaceful coexistence of the country’s nationalities as they go about their campaigns.
While congratulating the candidates, he urged them to accord priority to issues confronting the country and focus on proffering credible and sustainable solutions to them.
He said the flagbearers’ election by their parties was a further demonstration that the nation is a common heritage for its citizens which they must strive to protect, prosper and preserve for the future generation.
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“I urge you to conduct your campaigns in a manner devoid of acrimony, divisiveness and treachery so that at the end of the day, Nigeria will win, democracy will triumph, and humanity will be better for it.
“As I have always said, no ambition is worth the life of another. As candidates, you must eschew violence and acts that will encourage any form of bloodletting or exacerbate the national fault lines.
“We live in a season of unprecedented violence, and all political leaders have a responsibility to de-escalate the tension in the country. The candidates, by conduct and language, must prioritize non-violence and peaceful coexistence.”
The former President urged politicians to place national interest above personal interest, adding that they must commit to upholding virtues that will sustain democracy and advance the cause of good governance, peace and sustainable development.
According to him, Nigeria is at a critical junction in its march to nationhood as it grapples with security and economic challenges requiring solutions from its leaders.
He said the 2023 elections would be an opportunity to renew the country’s union, rebuild the founding fathers’ dreams, and revitalize the economy.
Jonathan also noted that the elections imposed a “historic burden” on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to deepen the reforms of the country’s electoral system.
“A transparent election will go a long way to increase the confidence of Nigerians in our democracy and restore trust in our public institutions.”
Jonathan, however, charged the voters to make honest and patriotic choices that would catapult the nation to an enviable height.
Candidates congratulated by the former President are Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu, and Peter Obi, presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP), respectively.
Others are Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Malik Ado-Ibrahim, Young Progressives Party (YPP), Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Dumebi Kachikwu, African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
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