Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has asked presidential candidates for the 2023 elections to ensure they do not promote hate and division during their campaigns.
The former president said the onus is on political leaders to de-escalate tension, given the prevalent insecurity in the country.
Jonathan, in a statement issued by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, also congratulated all the presidential flagbearers.
He asked them to run campaigns bereft of rancour and divisiveness, urging them to ensure that issues and credible solutions take preeminence.
I consider you are all aspiring to be elected as the leader of the country because you are democrats who believe, like the rest of us, that Nigeria is our common heritage which we should all strive to protect, prosper and preserve for the future generation.
As you progress towards the electioneering campaigns, it is important that the issues confronting the country and credible solutions take centre stage.
I urge you to conduct your campaigns in a manner devoid of acrimony, divisiveness and treachery so that at the end of the day Nigeria will win, democracy will triumph and humanity will be better for it.
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.
The former president also advised all stakeholders to place national interest above personal interest.
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.