‘Only candidate that promotes unity, progress deserves electoral victory’
Electorate have been urged to vote for a candidate that will promote unity and progress of the country in the forthcoming presidential election.
The National Coordinator, BAT Ambassadors for Nigeria’s Greatness (BANG), Chief Jamiu Afolabi Ekungba, in a statement made available to The Guardian, said as the presidential election draws closer, it is becoming clearer that the contest is not just one between political parties but between the forces of unity of the country and the forces for its disintegration.
He said the February 25, 2023 presidential election is an existential watershed in the annals of Nigeria and it is the civic responsibility of all patriots to see it in this perspective.
According to him, the founding fathers of Nigeria adopted “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” as the motto for the country. The wisdom behind their choice of motto should not be lost on us. It was their desire, as it is ours today, that Nigeria should become a great nation.
“But it was clear to them that greatness would elude us unless we remain united. They included “Faith” in the motto because it is a unifying factor as there is no community in Nigeria where the Omnipotent One is not recognised and adored. Progress is a major attribute of greatness that we desire but it cannot be attained without peace. Thus, the elements of our national motto are intertwined: lack of unity is a threat to peace and that in turn will arrest our progress. Suffice it to say that anyone or group that detracts from any of these elements ultimately robs us of all,” he stated.
He stressed the need to abide by the rotation of power among various ethnics divides in the country, adding that the great efforts of the past leaders to preserve the unity of Nigeria must not be in vein.
Ekungba said: “The present generation of Nigerians, especially the youth, must resist any attempt to imperil Nigeria’s unity because we are the immediate beneficiaries of the peace and progress it will eventually bring.
“To ensure that Nigeria remains united, past leaders have advocated that the Presidency must rotate between the North and the South. So far, this arrangement has been honoured in this Fourth Republic though there was once a feeble attempt to disrupt the momentum, but it was happily resisted by the forces of progress.
“There is now a grand design by one of the parties contesting the presidential election (not the APC) to further disrupt the rotational presidency arrangement during this forthcoming 2023 election. This is a direct assault on the factor that gives the most fillip to our unity. All patriotic Nigerians must therefore employ every lawful means to ensure that the rotational arrangement of Nigeria’s presidency is neither breached nor abandoned,” he stated.
He commended the efforts of some patriotic Nigerians including the Northern All Progressive Congress (APC) governors who have boldly and courageously upheld the principled stance that shifting the presidency to the south at this point in time is a moral imperative and a giant step towards unity, peace and progress in Nigeria.
“They are doggedly committed to the struggle for unity because the detractors of Nigeria’s unity and progress have continued to propel their repressive machinery throwing up new evil skills and schemes. But these heroes and champions of unity keep thwarting them.
“We also salute the courage of those who abandoned prominent positions in other parties to team up with the progressives to defend and uphold Nigeria’s unity. Collectively and individually, they have demonstrated that they are statesmen and women who have placed the nation above their personal interests. We implore the teeming Nigerian youth to draw a lesson from this because it is for their future that these leaders are sacrificing their own present,” he said.
Ekungba said if Nigeria’s motto is the foundation of its greatness, Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) is the epitome of its ethos.
He defended this by saying that BAT is a detribalised Nigerian who has cultivated deep and mutually beneficial relationships with people in every part of Nigeria adding that this has afforded him the opportunity to understand the peculiar needs of all Nigerians and this will equip him to meet those needs when in power.
He also described him as a very liberal person that has accommodated adherents of different religions in his plans and programmes.
In Ekungba’s estimation, Tinubu is a promoter of peace, saying, “he has always opted for peaceful resolution of issues. When the mandates the people of the South West freely and overwhelmingly gave to his party in five out of the six states were stolen in broad daylight, he opted to go to court to seek redress. In the same vein, when the Federal Government illegally withheld the funds meant for the welfare and development of the peace-loving people of Lagos State, there was no violent protest under his leadership to challenge the injustice. This has epitomised the trajectory of development in Lagos State because BAT is a genuine peace lover.”
He said, if all we want in Nigeria today are unity, peace and progress, BAT is the obvious choice. “We must definitely avoid the antics of those who want to drive home their barely disguised secessionist agenda and lead Nigeria to disintegration.”
“We must oppose those who want to exploit religion to divide Nigerians as if any party in Nigeria is religiously homogenous. The obvious choice for Nigeria is a broad-minded Nigerian leader who appreciates inclusivity and is not blinded by ethnic supremacy and religious bigotry. Certainly, turning places of religious worship to campaign grounds is a recipe for intended and unintended combustion that will threaten the peace and stability of Nigeria. It is a risk that Nigeria cannot afford to take,”