A former Minority Leader of the Nigeria Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has advised politicians to run decent campaigns and stop politicising tragedies, as the general elections approach.
Akpabio, who is also a former governor of Akwa Ibom, who now represents Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, gave the advice in an interview on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that the unity of Nigeria was more important than politics, adding that all Nigerians should take steps to maintain that unity.
“Nigerian politicians should learn to run decent campaigns and try to shy away from issues that can generate violence or further polarise our country as we approach the elections.
“They should stop jubilation whenever we experience set back in the war against insurgency, it is a collective responsibility to ensure that Nigeria is safe and we should all show commitment to that cause.
“The reason why we are contesting for political leadership in the first place is because there is a country called Nigeria; if Nigeria stops to exist today, our politics will become useless,’’ he said.
Akpabio also urged politicians to see the advantage in the size and diversity of Nigeria and work hard to maintain its unity.
“The reason why we are respected across the world is because of our population and our diverse ethnic configuration.
“Politicians are supposed to use these factors to further engender peace and unity in the country, instead of creating hatred and enmity amongst their followers,’’ he said.
The former governor also advised Nigerians to stop viewing “dividends of democracy’’ or political reward system in terms of appointment and contracts.
“Nigerians should ensure that they elect good and committed leaders at all elections, and stop expecting patronage in terms of appointments or contracts.
“Good governance and delivery of critical infrastructure are the best reward system that any leadership can give the citizenry, and any leader that does these deserves mass support,’’ he said.
Akpabio, a former member of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), decamped to the ruling All Progrissives Congress (APC) on August 8, 2018.