By Enyichukwu Enemanna
As three states file out on Saturday to elect new governors, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called for a peaceful process in the off-cycle election.
Bayelsa the home state of the ex-Nigerian leader, Kogi in North Central and Imo in South East Nigeria will hold governorship elections in which two sitting governors — Senators Douye Diri and Hope Uzodinma of Bayelsa and Imo respectively are seeking re-election, while Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is at the completion stage of his second term and will be succeeded by a new governor.
Jonathan, who has been actively involved in election observation across the world reiterated that a politician’s ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
The former President who conceded defeat in 2015 when he lost to his successor, Muhammadu Buhari, said everyone involved in the elections must do everything possible not to jeopardize the peace and stability in the country.
“As citizens of voting age in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States go to the polls for governorship election tomorrow, I urge all electorates and politicians to avoid violence and conduct themselves in a peaceful and lawful manner,” he wrote on his X handle.
He continued, “Let us refrain from all activities that will jeopardize the collective peace and stability of our states and our country.
“A man who means well for his people would not recruit thugs to maim and kill the very people he wants to govern.
“Let me reiterate that nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any citizen. Therefore, let us resist the temptation and inducements that may be deployed as agents of destruction.“
For democracy to endure and be impactful, the country must ensure that the leadership recruitment process, especially elections, are credible, transparent, fair and peaceful, Jonathan stated.
He urged the electoral management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and other stakeholders to be professional and patriotic in the discharge of their responsibilities during and after the election.
“Democracy draws its strength from the people; let us work to strengthen the confidence of the people by ensuring that the electoral process is peaceful and transparent.“
He was the first sitting President to lose to an opposition in Nigeria. Before the conclusion of the 2015 poll, he placed a call to Buhari, congratulating him for his victory.
This has attracted him global accolades as he averted a famous prediction that Nigeria may be engulfed in serious political crisis after the 2015 election.