2023: Jonathan decries ethno-religious, divisive politics
• Again, INEC promises to deliver
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, former President Goodluck Jonathan has charged politicians to shun ethno-religious and divisive politics.
He made the appeal yesterday at the launch of Solomon Lar Leadership Institute and an autobiography titled, “Chronicles of the Rainbow,” in Abuja.
He pointed out that the erstwhile Plateau State governor played politics of inclusion, honesty, courage and patriotism, emphasising: “As we move towards the 2023 elections, I urge that we all, as critical stakeholders, should embrace Lar’s politics of inclusion and unity.”
Jonathan deplored the political climate in Nigeria, adding that ethnicity, bigotry, hate speech, intolerance and divisiveness were dominating the polity.
Charging politicians to emulate Lar, Jonathan said: “The fact that he (Lar) co-authored his own autobiography, which we are launching today, with an Islamic cleric, speaks to the boundless nature of his broadmindedness, the spirit of tolerance and religious understanding.”
He lamented: “Sadly, we are now playing the kind of politics that Chief Lar detested. Issues around ethnicity, religious bigotry, hate speech and personal attacks rather than principles and policies affecting the lives of Nigerians, have continued to dominate political discourses around the country, as political parties begin their campaigns.”
In his remarks, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, described himself as a close and intimate student of the late first national chairman of the main opposition party in 1998.
He said it was to his glory that PDP is the oldest party in Nigeria.
Abubakar submitted: “I am standing in dual capacity here today as Atiku Abubakar, a very close and intimate student of the late Chief Solomon Lar, and second, representing the entire family, PDP, he helped found, and also the first chairman of that party.”
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom said leaders, irrespective of political affiliations, must join hands to salvage Nigeria.
Earlier, wife of the late nationalist, Prof. Mary Lar, said her husband was a man of peace, who believed in the rule of law.
MEANWHILE, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians of free, fair and credible elections in 2023.
The Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the pledge, yesterday, at the sixth yearly conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), with the theme, “2023 Elections: Managing The Process For Credible Outcome” in Lagos.
While noting that the commission would discharge its duties creditably, Yakubu assured Nigerians that votes would continue to count and be sole determinant of electoral outcome.
He said the umpire had introduced several new innovations, supported by the deployment of appropriate technology, to protect sanctity of Nigerians’ choice.
The innovations, according to Yakubu, range from voter registration to accreditation and result management.
Yakubu added that the deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) had ensured only genuine voters got accredited.