Come, Join Me to Build Gombe of Our Dream, Says Re-elected  Gov

Segun Awofadeji in Gombe

The Gombe State Governor, Mr. Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who was reelected for another four years has extended hands of fellowship to those he defeated at the polls and urged them to team up with him to move the state forward.

Yahaya stated that “as in every electoral contest, there is bound to be winners and losers. But for me, there is no victor and no vanquished.

“If the ultimate objective of all political parties and contestants is about the peace, progress and development of Gombe State, it behooves on all of them to support us in moving our dear state forward. On my part, I’m ready to work with all stakeholders in running an all-inclusive government for the benefit of our people.”

He said in his acceptance speech on Sunday that “this victory is not Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya’s or APC’s victory alone. It is a victory for all citizens of Gombe State.

“The roads, hospitals, schools and other development projects and dividends of democracy we provided over the past four years (and which we shall continue to provide) are not for the benefit of our supporters alone, but for the benefit of all citizens of Gombe State irrespective of ethnic, religious or partisan affiliations.”

“It is with a heart full of gratitude, humility and complete submission to the will of Allah that I address you today in order to express my profound appreciation for giving me the honor to serve once again as your governor for another term of four years.” 

The governor stressed that “extraordinary outpouring of support and solidarity in the just concluded governorship and state assembly elections has reaffirmed my belief in your determination to choose the politics of development and progress over that of retrogression and blackmail.”

He said that “through the ballot box, you have made clear priorities and aspirations for Gombe State to continue on the path of progress, prosperity and all-inclusive development and governance.”

He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting smooth, peaceful and hitch-free elections, stating that he would like to thank “our security agencies for their professionalism and patriotism during the elections.

“To all civil society groups and observer missions, I want to thank you for your role in making our elections peaceful, fair and credible. I would like to also appreciate the role played by our religious leaders and traditional rulers in promoting peaceful coexistence among our people throughout the electioneering period and beyond.”

He added that “to our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and all party members, led by the party chairman, the campaign director-general, campaign coordinators, members of our campaign council, party executives, support groups, party activists and supporters, women and youth groups, trade unions, artisan associations, and many other groups too numerous to mention, I want to say a big thank you for your positive roles and contributions towards our success.

“Most importantly, I want to thank our dear people of Gombe State for the resounding vote of confidence in us. I am truly humbled by your outpouring of support and goodwill. I remain eternally grateful for this honour and I want to assure you that I will not let you down.”  

Yahaya concluded by stating that he is rededicating “this victory to Almighty Allah, The Giver of power and Master of Sovereignty. To Him alone be the ultimate glory. I pray he guides our hands and bless our efforts in discharging this onerous responsibility.”

Peace for Free campaigns for electoral free violence post elections

Convener of Peace for Free Campaign, Mr. Chris Oge Kalu, has commenced a campaign to educate the public on the need for peace during and post elections.

In a lecture series themed “Sustainable Peace Beyond Elections” that was held on the Thursday, March 16 at Lagos City Club, Surulere, which had in attendance some residents of Surulere Local Government Area on a course to advocate for peace, Kalu said that “first of all, I am a Nigerian and the election you are talking about took place in Nigeria. So, I am part and parcel of the Nigerian society, if Nigeria burns, I will burn.

“At this point, in order to ensure that we don’t burn, we have to come out from where we are, from whatever profession we belong to and embark on a noble cause like this to ensure we don’t burn.

“The thing is thiat the recipe for a peaceful coexistence of a united Nigeria is the ability to look beyond primordial sentiment because there is no society that does not have conflict.

“It can emanate from anywhere; it can be tribal, ethnic, religious but in our case, sometimes we take it out of context because of the kind of small things we hear.

“You have to remain resolute to the cause of one Nigeria. We have to embrace peace because it is a peaceful society that will allow us to think how to progress in the first place but in the midst of chaos, you cannot think of anything.”

The Guest Speaker at the lecture, Professor Anthony Igyuve, of the Department of Mass Communication, Nasarawa State University, stated that “the essence of this event is to help spread the message of peace beyond elections in Nigeria.

“We have had the first round of elections; the national assembly and the presidential election have come and gone and they have thrown up issues that we think is important that we preach the message of peace in Nigeria.”

Some of residents took turns to throw in questions during the session while others shared their opinions and views as regards the election and the candidates.  

The professor concluded by saying that “people think that in every election circle, their preferred candidate must emerge the winner but in any contest there are only two possible outcomes, they either win or lose.

“I think our contestants should go into any election prepared for either of the two. Whenever somebody loses there is usually that protest of having lost an election. I think it is essentially a matter of perception believing they were cheated out of the process and these are the kind of things that supporters of those who lose election begin to feel that they have been shortchanged and cheated out of the system.

“This is why we have tendencies of violence everywhere after an election cycle. But beyond that there are also palpable incidences that may have affected the process that produced the result.

“These are issues that have been raised by several people and I believe that the electoral umpire and those concerned are working to ensure that the next round of elections do not have the same issues, this to my mind is what I think are what is responsible to most of the pockets of violence that we have.”

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