Former president Goodluck Jonathan has called on politicians in Nigeria to avoid violence, behave with restraint, and strengthen the country’s democracy.
On Tuesday, Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan’s special adviser, released a statement in which Jonathan urged Nigerians to show patriotism and civility while voting.
In his opinion, a crisis of democracy has recently led to the unlawful change of administrations in West Africa and a few other states on the continent.
He emphasized that Nigerians should not let elections spark chaos and bloodshed.
“We must desist from the temptation of yielding to those desirous of making our communities and states, theatres of conflicts for their selfish ends,” he said.
“Let us realise that the primary purpose of democracy is to uphold the freedom and dignity of citizens and deploy the instruments of governance toward advancing and improving the well-being of our people.
“We should strive to consolidate the gains we have recorded in our democracy in the last two decades by ensuring that the elections are peaceful, just, and fair.
“Power is sought and held in trust to be selflessly exercised in the interest of the people and seeking it at all costs negates this ideal and projects politicians in a bad light.
“Let us eschew hatred and violence and display true sportsmanship, during and after the poll.”
Jonathan said the future belongs to the youths and advised them not to allow themselves to be used as agents of destruction and violence.
“This election provides you with the opportunity to be key partners in the nation-building process by electing leaders of your choice,” he said.
“Those you can hold to account, those you trust to defend your future and guarantee unity, peace, and prosperity in our great country.
“Democracy has put our fate in our hands. It has given us power, the power to make the right choices, determine our future, and shape our destiny.
“I urge you all to make your respective choices in the best interest of our land. Let us make our choices peacefully and respect the choices and rights of others.”
Jonathan urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, and other critical stakeholders to be professional, civil, and non-partisan as they carry out their duties during the elections.