Former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has urged Nigerians to stop whining over misrule of bad leaders in the country but rise up and vote out incompetent governments.
General Abubakar spoke yesterday at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, where he delivered a Distinguished Annual Lecture on ‘Election and Security in Nigeria: Policy Options and Strategies’ ahead of the Graduation Ceremony of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 40 holding today (Saturday).
He said, “Let me try to conclude by saying that every citizen must do their duty; you must not sell your vote, you must register to vote, and stop criticising the failures of government if you will not go and vote them out if they are not doing their job. You should not allow your children to be used for violence.”
General Abubakar maintained that credible electoral umpire was very critical in building the confidence of the electorate.
“They must not be seen to be taking side as observed in Ekiti State with the result now being contested in court,” he said.
He said the responsibility of security agencies must be defined as their roles were very critical to the success or failure of any election as “Heavy policing and militarisation of election as observed in Ekiti was enough to scare voters from coming out to exercise their franchise.”
Abubakar also decried vote-buying, describing it as an ill that must be urgently addressed before the 2019 elections.
He said Boko Haram was certainly a threat to the 2019 elections in the North-east, adding that IPOB, the MEND and others were also a threat.
The former leader also blamed Nigeria’s ordeal on colonial historical baggage, noting that “Nigeria’s amalgamation was not scripted to benefit the nation, coupled with the divide and rule practice by the British in Nigeria, and the inordinate greed and ambition of our political elites.
“Absence of check and balances and culture of winner takes it all in Nigeria have made politicians to become desperate to get it by hook-or-crook.”
While appealing to Nigerians to give peace a chance, he said “without peace there will be no Nigeria.”
At the lecture was former Chairman, Board of Governors of NIPSS, Major General Paul Omu. The Gbong Gwom Jos, Jacob Gyang Buba, and Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Prof Sonni Tyoden, who represented Governor Simon Lalong.