Jonathan Urges Peaceful Elections in Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi Gubernatorial Races: A Call for Nonviolent Participation

Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states, former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has charged politicians and their followers to eschew violence and conduct themselves peacefully and lawfully.

Dr Jonathan also urged the electoral management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the security agencies to be professional and patriotic in discharging their responsibilities during and after the election.

The former president, who said this in a statement he released on Friday, further noted that democracy draws its strength from the people, adding that “a man who means well for his people would not recruit thugs to maim and kill the very people he wants to govern.”

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Reiterating that nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any citizen, Dr Jonathan said: “As citizens of voting age in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States go to the polls for the governorship election tomorrow, I urge all electorates and politicians to avoid violence and conduct themselves in a peaceful and lawful manner.

“Let us refrain from all activities that will jeopardise the collective peace and stability of our states and our country. A man who means well for his people would not recruit thugs to maim and kill the very people he wants to govern. Let me reiterate that nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any citizen. Therefore, let us resist the temptations and inducements that may be deployed as agents of destruction.

“For democracy to endure and be impactful, we must ensure that the leadership recruitment process, especially elections, is credible, transparent, fair, and peaceful. I urge the electoral management body, security agencies, and other stakeholders to be professional and patriotic in the discharge of their responsibilities during and after the election.

“Democracy draws its strength from the people; let us work to strengthen the confidence of the people by ensuring that the electoral process is peaceful and transparent. It is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to allow the people to choose their leaders peacefully. That way, our democracy will grow and become sustainable.”

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