Don’t Allow Your Ambition Consume Nigeria -Jonathan …Jonathan Saved Nigeria From Political Crisis -Abdulsalami

304
Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan

As the nation heads into general elections, former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan has admonished political office seekers to be wary of their actions in order not to set the country ablaze.
Speaking at the opening session of a one-day peace conference with the theme, “Peaceful Elections and National Development,” organised by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) in Abuja yesterday, he observed that no meaningful progress can be achieved without peace.
While reminding the politicians that the entire world is watching, he said everything must be done to ensure that the elections are violence-free.
The former president was of the view that there will be serious repercussions for West Africa if the Nigerian elections do not go well
He, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to be professional in the discharge of their responsibilities before, during and after the elections.
Jonathan said: “For democracy to endure and be productive on the continent, African politicians and other stakeholders must realize that true heroes of leadership are not those whose desperation to impose their will endanger society, but those who have the humility to subjugate their personal ambitions to the collective interest of their nations.
“Our political leaders must realize that the greatest and most enduring legacy to leave behind is that of peace and development.
“We are convinced that anyone, either in government or outside government, who truly loves Nigeria, will not want to play the role of the villain by lending his support to any action that instigates crises.”
According to the former president: “There is no gainsaying that when politicians resort to desperate measures in the bid to occupy important political positions, they run the risk of plunging their countries into serious crises that often lead to loss of lives, degradation of values as well as the destruction of private and public assets.”
He admonished African leaders to remember that failure to make the democratic process peaceful will make it difficult to attain growth.
He further said: “We know that good governance is the fertile ground upon which peace and sustainable economic growth are planted. In this regard, it is important to point out that in a democracy, periodic, credible and peaceful elections are the necessary gateways to improved governance and people-oriented development.”
“It is on record that despite the marked improvement on the regularity and number of democratic nations, election-related violence has continued to be experienced in many African nations, often to the detriment of peaceful co-existence, economic growth and sustainable development.”
“Although it is reassuring to note that democracy is being consolidated on the continent, with elections now conducted routinely by many African nations, it is however difficult to express such optimism on the peaceful nature of the electoral processes.”
Speaking as the chairman of the occasion, former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) similarly advised tasked the nation’s leaders to imbibe the lessons of 2015.”
He recalled that while the enemies of Nigeria predicted doom; they were disappointed when the country conducted a transparent election that ushered in the incumbent government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “We all recall the tension in Nigeria during the 2015 elections where the doomsayers were predicting the balkanization of Nigeria but thank God through the action of Nigerians and the then President, Goodluck Jonathan; they were proved wrong because the gentleman kept his word that his Presidency was not worth the blood of any Nigerian and he graciously conceded defeat at that election.”
The Chairman, National Peace Commission said effort must be made to make the 2019 polls the most peaceful in the history of the nation.
The Special Guest of Honour and former President of Liberia, Professor Amos Sawyer in a veiled response to the threat issued against foreign observers by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, said Nigerians must not see the presence of world leaders in the country as an intrusion.
He noted that Nigeria as Africa’s most populous nation means a whole lot to the West African sub-region.
Sawyer stayed: “Nigeria’s role in West Africa makes the election in this country is very critical. So elections in Nigeria cannot be seen solely as a Nigeria’s affairs,” he said, adding that the trouble currently rattling the nation’s judiciary should be resolved in accordance with the provisions of the law.”
“Nigerian judiciary has been in the news for quite some time now in a manner that is of deep concern. It is our hope that the issues involved are resolved in a manner that will leave the integrity of the judiciary intact.”
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, who was the lead speaker at the occasion, stressed the need for inter-tribal bond among Nigerians.
He said the existence of such affinity will engender unity in the country. Kukah spoke on “Electoral Violence in Nigeria: Causes, Consequences and Options for Prevention.”
The clergyman who observed that Nigeria has refused to confront the realities of the state times, said killings no longer make meaning to people so long as those killed are not from their ethnic nationalities.
The occasion attracted many prominent personalities including members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Meanwhile, A former Nigerian Military Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, said yesterday that by accepting defeat in 2015, ex-Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, saved the country from political crises.
Abubakar spoke at a one-day peace conference organised by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, with the theme “Peaceful Elections and National Development.”
Dignitaries at the event include Hassan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese and Convener National Peace Committee of Nigeria; Al-Hassan Conteh, Liberia Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as Fidele Sarassoro, Chief of Staff to the President of Cote d’Ivoire.
Mr Abubakar, who was the chairman of the conference, said Mr Jonathan kept to his words that his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
He called on key political actors in Nigeria, particularly those seeking elective positions, to do everything possible to ensure peace in the forthcoming general elections because “Nigeria is not a stranger to electoral violence.”
He urged all stakeholders to ensure a peaceful nation because, “Without peace, there would be no nation, and without a nation, there would be no election.”
“The period of election in the country is often tension-soaked because of the competition involved. Nigeria is not a stranger to electoral violence. Jonathan kept his word that his presidency is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.”
“He graciously conceded defeat. He saved the country from falling into political crisis. Nigerians and indeed, the world are praying that the election would be peaceful. Without peace, there would be no nation, and without a nation, there would be no election,” he said.
Speaking earlier at the event, Mr Jonathan spoke about the need for unity in Nigeria.
“We experienced the civil war that ended since 1970. But up to date, the feelings are still in even children who were not born at that time because of the stories they get told. And that is why we must do everything to avoid conflict because it is always difficult to erase these feelings,” the former president said.
Dr Jonathan, before the announcement of the final results of the 2015 general presidential elections, in a move that shocked many political pundits, conceded defeat to the current president, Muhamadu Buhari, after a keenly contested poll.
That was the first time an incumbent would be losing the top seat (and conceding victory) to an opposition party in Nigeria.
Dr Jonathan has been celebrated globally for his action, which many believe saved the country from political turmoil.