President Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday in Abuja, reiterated his total commitment to ensuring peaceful, free, fair and credible elections come Saturday March 28 and April 11.
Speaking at an audience with a delegation of the National Committee on Peaceful Elections led by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, President Jonathan urged all political parties, their candidates and supporters to approach the elections with more patriotism and a greater willingness to place the larger interest of the country above personal ambitions.
The President said that the Federal Government had worked very hard over the years to promote strong democratic institutions that will sustain the country’s democracy and will not tolerate any form of violence during or after the polls that could reverse the gains of the present democratic dispensation in the country.
“My cardinal principle has always been, and still remains that the ambition of any Nigerian is not worth the blood of anybody. I am not a violent person and I don’t tolerate violence in any form. I don’t believe that violence can be used to achieve anything meaningful in life.
“I am giving my total commitment to peaceful elections in the country, not because I am persuaded to do so, but because I believe in it,” President Jonathan said.
The President called on religious and political leaders, community heads and other senior citizens in the country to be vociferous in condemning incidences of electoral violence in the country, such as the stoning of opponents.
President Jonathan also said that he would be quite willing to meet and sign another peace accord with the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, to further emphasize his total commitment to a violence-free poll on Saturday.
The Chairman of the National Committee on Peaceful Elections, Gen. Abubakar commended the President for his consistency in insisting on peaceful, free and fair elections in the country at all levels.
Other members of the delegation were Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd.), Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Prof. Zainab Alkali, Sam Amuka-Pem, Mrs. Priscilla Kuye and Justice Rose Ukeje.
At another meeting with a group of international election monitors, President Jonathan gave an assurance that the coming elections would not generate the type of violence that followed the 2011 elections.
The international observers were from the African Union Group led by Dr. Amos Sawyer, the Commonwealth Group led by Dr. Bakili Muluzi, the European Parliament and the Republican Institute.