By Laeef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur has harped on the need for Nigerian leaders to eschew violence and embrace peace during and after the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
Tukur similarly tasked leaders to work towards the eradication of poverty in Nigeria noting that poverty had become so pervasive in the country.
The former governor of the old Gongola State, said this at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday.
He recalled how united and strong Nigerians were at independence but regretted that the country is no longer the same.
According to him, “I would like to tell you, I have witnessed October, 1st 1960 when our National Flag of green, white green was raised at Tafawa Balewa Square symbolising our National Identity as Independent Nigeria. I would never forget that moment of pride and joy as Nigerian Nation was born. What a pride! What a joy! We chanted- ‘though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand’.
“I would like to know what has gone wrong? I would like to call on all Nigerians to stop these senseless killing of the innocent. We are all brothers and sisters. We should love and defend all our country men and women. Peace and tranquility should engulf all of us regardless where we find ourselves.
“Our leaders have spoken, our Ulamaas and clergy have spoken for peace in the land. We all must accept and obey the injunctions.”
On the need to eschew violence and embrace peace during the elections, Tukur said:
“Election is just around the corner when opinion may differ as to the way we are governed. We have chosen Democracy and the Rule of Law, the two principles are centered on peace and security.
“I call on all politicians to imbibe the principle of democracy and rule of law. Let all leaders preach peace to their followers. It is only peace that can unite us as a people and it is only a united Nigeria that can take us to the promised land.
“It is worthy of note that the entire Africa and black race are proud of us Nigerians. It has become imperative on us to conduct ourselves in a peaceful manner throughout the election period as we are the pride of Africa.”
“At over 80, I would like to claim the privilege of asking all Nigerians, young and old to be our brothers and sisters keepers in love and security. Be a Nigerian, embrace peace and stop killing.
“May the next election be peaceful throughout Nigeria. May The Almighty continue to bring us together peacefully. May The Almighty answer our prayers. Amen.”
While lamenting the harvoc being caused by poverty on Nigerians, Tukur said poverty could make the Peoples derail from the right course.
He asked those in authority at all levels to make poverty eradication a very serious agenda.