Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday urged presidential flag bearers to conduct their campaigns in a manner devoid of acrimony, divisiveness and treachery.
He made the plea in a congratulatory message to winners of the various primaries across political spectrum particularly Atiku Abubakar candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP); Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP); Malik Ado-Ibrahim, Young Progressives Party (YPP); Chief Dan Nwanyanwu of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP); Dumebi Kachikwu of African Democratic Congress (ADC) as well as Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
He said their emergence as flag bearers of after submitting themselves to rigorous selection and election processes demonstrated their belief and interest in the progress of the country.
According to the former President, it was important that issues confronting the country and credible solutions took centre stage during electioneering campaigns so that at end of the day the country wins, democracy triumphs and humanity is better off.
“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 prioritise non-violence and peaceful coexistence.
“I urge all stakeholders to place national interest above personal interest. We must commit to upholding virtues that will sustain our democracy and advance the cause of good governance, peace and sustainable development.
“Nigeria is at a critical junction in its march to nationhood as it grapples with security and economic challenges. The 2023 elections present an opportunity to renew our union, rebuild the dreams of our founding fathers and revitalise our economy.
“The importance of this election imposes on the election managers and security agencies a historic burden to continue deepening the reforms of our 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,” he said.
Continuing, Jonathan noted that national aspirations of unity, peace and progress could be attained through the instrumentality of a functional and effective democracy, urging leaders to prioritise the peace and stability of the country as 2023 election activities commence.
“To the good citizens of our beloved country, I charge you all, particularly the youth, to make honest and patriotic choices that will guarantee us the hope that we desire for ourselves and our nation,” Jonathan said.
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