- We have no other place to run to should the country be engulfed by fire
By Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo State, said he would forever be an enemy of anyone that tried to hinder the democratic development of Nigeria or plunge Nigeria into crisis.
Abdulsalami stated this 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. The lecture was titled: “Collaborative Peace Building in Nigeria.”
Abdulsalami came down hard on politicians ahead of the 2019 general elections, warning them against acts capable of disrupting the electoral process and the unity of the country.
He cautioned them against disrupting the 2019 general elections, saying, “we have no other place to run to should the country be engulfed by fire”.
According to the former Head of State, Nigeria cannot be that great nation we all want, except we all agree to collectively work together and collaborate on peace.
He noted: “Peace is not the 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 pointed out that there can be no sustainable development where people find it difficult to deal with the problems around them peacefully.
The former Head of State added: “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.”
He 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 observed.
He advised the students not to allow themselves to be dragged into electoral malfeasance and violence.
He also appealed to politicians to be more conciliatory in their relationship and public utterances.
“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 mentored.