Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged Nigerians to be patriotic and peaceful and display true sportsmanship as they exercise their civic rights on February 25 and March 11.
Mr Jonathan said this in a message to Nigerians released by his special adviser Ikechukwu Eze in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said Nigerians must not allow elections to be a source of violence and anarchy.
“We must desist from the temptation of yielding to those desirous of making our communities and states theatres of conflicts for their selfish ends. Let us realise that the primary purpose of democracy is to uphold the freedom and dignity of citizens and deploy the instruments of governance toward advancing and improving the well-being of our people,” the former Nigerian president explained.
Mr Jonathan urged Nigerians to “consolidate the gains we have recorded in our democracy in the last two decades by ensuring that the elections are peaceful, just, and fair,” appealing to politicians to eschew hatred and violence, “be circumspect in their actions and work towards consolidating the nation’s democracy.”
Mr Jonathan, who said that the future belongs to the youth, advised them not to allow themselves to be used as agents of destruction and violence, saying Nigeria is yours to build.
“This election provides you with the opportunity to be key partners in the nation-building process by electing leaders of your choice. Those you can hold to account, those you trust to defend your future and guarantee unity, peace, and prosperity in our great country,” the former president stressed.
According to him, the 2023 elections mean so much to all Nigerians, describing it as a moment of truth and courage.
“Democracy has put our fate in our hands. It has given us power, the power to make the right choices, determine our future, and shape our destiny,” he stated.