Politics Is Not Warfare, Jonathan Cautions Politicians

In the warm up to the 2023 general elections, former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged politicians to see politics as a way of developing the society, and not as an act of war.

Jonathan made the call on Saturday during the special victory thanksgiving of the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, organised at the Ecumenical Centre, Yenagoa as part of activities to celebrate his one year in office.

The former president who commended the Governor for his non-discriminatory politics, stressed that at the end of every political contest, politicians should sheathe their swords and work with the winner.

He also calles for support from people of the state to enable the government succeed.

“My message today is that those of us in politics should learn to play politics as politics and not war. At the end of the process, let us come together and support whoever emerges winner.

“I thank our governor for opening his mind to accept everybody irrespective of political divide. I urge him to do more,” he added.

Diri was sworn in on February 14 following the Supreme Court judgment which nullified the election of David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the grounds that his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, presented false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which resulted in his qualification for the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.

The court consequently ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Lyon and Degi-Eremienyo.

Diri, in his remarks, said the justices proved that the judiciary remained the last hope of the common man.

He equally appreciated all those who stood by him after the election and before the apex ourt ruling, especially Senator Seriake Dickson, Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel and his Oyo counterpart, Seyi Makinde.

On his part, the governor urged people of the state to always exude love and embrace one another irrespective of party affiliations, stressing that the development of the state was bigger than any group or individual consideration.

Diri said, “They say the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. For us, the judiciary was our last hope. We thank all those who contributed one way or another toward ensuring our victory.

“Let me again urge Bayelsans not to see those in APC as enemies. Today they are there but tomorrow they might be in PDP. As I speak, many of our brothers in the APC are returning to the PDP.”

In their goodwill messages, Governors Seyi Makinde, Udom Emmanuel and Senator Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State as well as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus all commended Diri for his strides in office and expressed confidence that he would transform the state while calling on Bayelsans to rally round him.

Delivering a sermon on the topic, “It is The Lord’s Doing,” Pastor Lazarus Muoka described Diri’s emergence as divine.

He noted that with man there were limitations but with God all things were possible, and urged people of the state to turn to God for salvation.