‘Poor conduct of 2019 Elections, insecurity vindicate Jonathan as a patriot’
Human right activist and Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, has said that the level of insecurity and blood letting in the country under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has singled out former president Goodluck Jonathan as a patriot.Sani eulogised Jonathan over the peaceful conduct of the 2015 general elections, saying violence has continued to trail the 2019 elections conducted by the present administration.
Reflecting on the security challenges facing the country today, Sani told The Guardian in an interview that “one singular statement made by former president Jonathan that no blood of any Nigerian was worth his own ambition set the tone for non-violent elections at that material time.”He noted that during the 2019 election, various political players made inflammatory utterances that prepared the ground for the violence that was witnessed during the election.
His words: “The body bags comments made by the Governor of Kaduna State and other bloody comments, inciting statements and hate speeches, with the desperate use of violence on people and against people by those in position of power have seriously stained and tainted the credibility and transparency of the 2019 elections.
“We have never in history seen how public resources were shared to voters to vote for public office holders and for candidates. When a nation descends to the very point that leaders have to pay to be elected into offices, then the soul of that nation has been buried along with dishonour. We have created a new form of politics and electioneering process where people buy themselves into public office or use violence for them to assume the position of power.
“One of the foremost cardinal of democracy is the ability, opportunity and the rights of people to elect their leaders into office. But when that process is destroyed, undermined and decimated, then the legitimacy of the people who are going to be in office will be seriously questioned. This is where we find ourselves today.
“You can’t use violence and public resources to get yourself into office and then claim any form of credibility. And I am saying it very clearly that as as long as leaders would perpetrate injustice, undermine the basic principles of credible elections and rig themselves into power, they have lost the moral right to call for statesmanship or sportsmanship.
“You cannot rig election, destroy the foundation of democracy and demand peace, unity and order among the people. If the foreign observers were categorical in their condemnation of the gross destruction of the electoral process as it was done in the presidential and National Assembly elections, there could not have been the violence that we have seen. They were mild and modest in their reportage, assessment and conclusion on what has happened.
“I can say that President Buhari cannot claim that what he has experienced today is a legacy of what he wants to leave for Nigerians. And I will also point out that if there is going to be seriousness in tackling electoral malpractices in Nigeria, then there must be sanction on those perpetrating it.”