Jonathan Condemns Electoral Violence, Says Nigerians, Not Courts Should Choose Leaders

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the decision on the next set of political office holders should be the prerogative of Nigerians through the democratic process and not a decision to be made by the judicial system.

He spoke on Saturday after he cast his vote in the governorship and state assembly election. The ex-governor of Bayelsa State and his wife, Patience, voted in Otuoke, in the Ogbia Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.



“I believe that Nigerians have decided that they must select their leaders,” he told journalists. “Any country that the ballot papers cannot select its leaders, that country is doomed.”

“So, we must form a system where the ballot papers must decide who leads us, either at the level of the president, governors, and at the level of parliamentarians; not the courts. The ballot papers should select the leaders.”

‘Nobody Should Mess Up Our Electoral System’

Commenting on the March 18 polls in Bayelsa, Jonathan commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but condemned the burning of electoral items by thugs in four wards under Constituency 2 in the Ogbia LGA.

“In terms of the general security of the elections, it is peaceful here but I am disturbed because, within my local government, I learnt that the state constituency 2, there were crises and materials have been burnt,” he stated.

The former President charged security agencies to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the act with immediate effect, noting that nobody should mess up Nigeria’s electoral system.

“The police must make sure they arrest all those involved. If they feel challenged, they should go to the governor and get the military involved.

“All those involved in that act must be arrested and prosecuted and we are all watching. If the police fail to do that, we will feel terribly disappointed. Nobody should mess up our electoral system.

“The country is moving and some criminals cannot push us backwards. The world is watching Nigeria.”

Kayode Oyero

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