Former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated presidential candidates of political parties ahead of the 2023 elections.
Dr Jonathan particularly congratulated Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All peoples Congress (APC), and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
The former president in a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze urged the candidates to run a campaign devoid of rancour and divisiveness and utilize the opportunity to promote peace and unity.
He also reminded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies of their responsibilities, stressing that the importance of the 2023 election imposes on them a historic burden to continue the process of deepening the reforms of our electoral system.
According to him, “I congratulate the winners of the various primaries across the political spectrum, particularly Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who has won the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the flag bearers of other parties that have also concluded their primaries.
“They include Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Malik Ado-Ibrahim, Young Progressives Party (YPP), Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Dumebi Kachikwu, African Democratic Congress (ADC) as well as Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP.
“Your emergence as the flagbearers of your parties after submitting yourselves to a rigorous selection and election processes demonstrates your belief and interest in the progress of our nation.
“I consider you are all aspiring to be elected as the leader of the country because you are democrats who believe, like the rest of us, that Nigeria is our common heritage which we should all strive to protect, prosper and preserve for the future generation.
“As you progress towards the electioneering campaigns, it is important that the issues confronting the country and credible solutions take centre stage.
“I urge you to conduct your campaigns in a manner devoid of acrimony, divisiveness and treachery so that at the end of the day Nigeria will win, democracy will triumph and humanity will be better for it.
“As I have always said, no ambition is worth the life of another. As candidates, you must eschew violence and acts that will encourage any form of bloodletting or exacerbate the national fault lines. We live in a season of unprecedented violence and all political leaders have a responsibility to de-escalate the tension in the country. The candidates by conduct and language must prioritise non-violence and peaceful coexistence.
“I also salute the sportsmanship displayed by other aspirants who have continued to lend their weight to the democratic process, even though they did not emerge victorious in their various party primaries.
“I urge all stakeholders to place national interest above personal interest. We must commit to upholding virtues that will sustain our democracy and advance the cause of good governance, peace and sustainable development.”