2023: We can’t keep playing politics of division, Jonathan tells presidential candidates 

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has called on all candidates in the 2023 elections to ensure that their campaigns are devoid of personal attacks.

Jonathan spoke on Thursday at the signing of the peace accord on the 2023 elections by presidential candidates.

He also urged candidates, their promoters and supporters to exercise restraint and to run their campaigns based on issues that affect Nigerians.

“We are at a critical stage in our national life where we have no choice but to promote national cohesion, love and hope in order to make the desired progress,” he said.

We cannot afford to continue to play politics of bitterness and division along ethnic and religious lines. This is because such kind of politics portends great danger to our unity, growth and the sustenance of our democracy.

“We have to be mindful of the destructive impact of hate speech, fake news and mindless propaganda, especially in a clime where the fabric of unity and stability still needs to be strengthened.

“I charge the candidates, their promoters and supporters to exercise restraint and seek to run their campaigns based on issues that affect our people.

They should, by all means, avoid needless attacks on personalities and use of abusive language for those are the elements that cause chaos and crisis during elections.”

Jonathan said candidates and the leaders of the various parties ought to lead the process for peaceful elections in the country.

He said the political stability and growth of democracy in any country are usually measured by the quality of elections.

“In this regard, we expect our democracy to be consolidated in such a way that our electoral processes will be seen to record incremental progress at the end of every election cycle,” he said.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case, as there are signs of inconsistencies with the progress we make in our elections.

“As citizens of this great country, we all have the responsibility to redirect our steps, strive to work harder and do the right things to avoid the stagnation of our democracy.’’

Jonathan urged Nigeria to raise the bar in credible and transparent elections by ensuring that the country’s electoral processes are peaceful, free and fair.

Abeeb Atanda

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