Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on Friday, said he will forever be an enemy of anyone that tried to hinder the democratic development of Nigeria or plunge the country into crisis. He also appealed to politicians to be more conciliatory in their public utterances, while warning the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to support anybody or party in 2019.
“INEC must be an unbiased umpire. The security agencies in the country must be fair to all, people must be free to vote their leaders”, he said. Abubakar spoke at the Maiden Edition of General Abdulsalami Abubakar Foundation Peace Lecture, organised by the staff and students of the Abdulsalami Abubakar Post Graduate Students’ Hall of the University of Ibadan.
He cautioned politicians against disrupting the 2019 general elections, saying “we have no other place to run to should the country be engulfed by fire”. “Peace is not absence of disagreement. Every society must have disagreements. This is because we are not born alike, even twins do not operate in a like manner,” hence there is nothing wrong with people having disagreements.
“What is expected is that when we have disagreements we would find peaceful solutions to the issues,” he said. He said there can be no sustainable development where people find it difficult to deal with the problems around them peacefully. “It is therefore, my honest opinion that we are going nowhere until we have a national consensus to work for peace.
“What our politicians should focus upon at a time like this is to be working with professionals on how to make a difference in 2019.” Abubakar stressed the need for Nigerians to focus more on addressing the escalating development crisis in the land.
“No matter how good those managing INEC are, if things are not well managed as they are, it might be difficult for us to have credible elections in 2019,” he said.