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Jonathan Urges Nigerians To Keep Peace As The 2023 Elections Draw Near

As the 2023 general elections draw near, a lot of admonishments have come in from different political figures. Joining the bandwagon, Former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has sued for peace, and unity among Nigerians.

According to Jonathan, the moments leading up to the 2023 general election were especially challenging, mostly because the atmosphere is warm and charged, he said this while speaking during a private visit to the governor of the Nasarawa state in Government House Lafia.

He said: “I know this is a very challenging period in the country because elections are coming up. Whenever elections are coming up, people are very warm, charged, and desperate. I pray that we conduct the affairs peacefully and make sure we push the state forward, push the country forward.”

He praised Abdullahi Sule, the governor of Nasarawa State, for his development efforts and urged him to continue the state’s positive progress.

“The last time I was in  Lafia was in 2015, during the presidential election.  Since then I have not had the opportunity to come.  With what I have seen, you are doing very well and you have to keep up the tempo,” he stated.

Jonathan said he was particularly pleased with Governor Sule because of the number of female appointees in his cabinet, recalling that as president of the country, he always insisted that government must encourage the female gender, as well as the youth.

“I am also pleased with the Governor because I have seen a number of female faces here.  You know, when I was in office, I always insist government must encourage the female gender and also the youth. I am quite happy that even the spokesperson is also a lady. I want to thank you for what you are doing,” he added.

According to former president Jonathan, Nasarawa and Bayelsa have something in common, they were created in the same year, recalling the peculiarities the two states shared when he was in office as president.

“I think Nasarawa State and Bayelsa were born the same day. Myself and the Governor were just talking about it. I said when I was a governor in 2006; we celebrated the 10th year anniversary of Bayelsa State, while the Governor celebrated the 25th year anniversary of Nasarawa State.  We have something in common.”

“When I was the president, because of my love for Nasarawa, I appointed the Emir of Lafia as the Chancellor of the Federal University in my village. And there was one of our top traditional rulers that were also the Chancellor of the Federal University in Nasarawa State.  That shows the tie between us as  a people.”

“I believe that friendship will continue to grow from strength to strength. I thank all of you for coming here to welcome me personally in my personal capacity as Goodluck Jonathan. That shows the love you have for me and I believe I should have the opportunity to reciprocate,” he said.

The former president expressed delight with the reception accorded him, with the members of the Nasarawa State executive council at hand to welcome him. Jonathan however said his visit was personal and private.

“Let me sincerely thank the Governor and the government of Nasarawa State for giving me this reception.  Because I told the Governor I was coming as a private visitor.  We had some conversations with him on some personal, private issues.  And I am surprised that the whole executive council gathered to give me this warm reception as if I am still sitting as a president of the country,” Jonathan stated.

“I didn’t even know that you have completed the airport in Nasarawa. If I had known there was an airport, I would have asked a friend to drop me off. I wouldn’t have stayed on the road for almost three hours. I have to thank you for what you are doing. Continue to do that for the people,”

In response, the governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, commended the former president for continuing to show interest in the region, saying that this would be advantageous for both parties.

Governor Sule praised Goodluck Jonathan in particular for his contribution to upholding democracy in the nation, stating that without Jonathan, the country’s democracy may have been hampered in 2015.

“The whole country has a love for you because, without you, the democracy that we had in 2015 and practicing today wouldn’t have been possible,” he stated.

The Governor further appreciated the former president for the role he has continued to play within and outside the country toward sustaining peace.

“I thank you sincerely, Sir. I continue to thank you for the good work that you continue to do for this country and for the world for peace not only in Africa but the world. May God continue to give you long life, and good health so that you do whatever it is for the nation,” the Governor said.

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