Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has warned politicians not to resort to violence ahead of this year’s elections.
Jonathan, in a statement signed by his special adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, urged Nigerians to be patriotic and peaceful as they exercise their civic rights to vote.
He said in recent times, West Africa and a few other nations in the continent have witnessed a crisis of democracy that led to unconstitutional change of governments.
He said Nigerians must not allow elections to be a source of violence and anarchy.
“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 youth, 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.”