Election: GDPN flag bearer appeals to Nigerians to shun ethnic rivalry
The presidential candidate of Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN), Dr Davidson Akhimien, has appealed to leaders across the country to shun hate speeches and ethnicity during the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.
Akhimien made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.
According to him, hate speeches will only cause more harm than good.
He advised leaders at all levels to always propagate the unity of the country over and above ethnic differences.
He expressed concerns over the increasing hate speeches going on in the media, which he said, were allegedly being engineered by some people.
“More worrisome is the heightened scale of hate speech and ethnocentrism in our society.
“This came to full glare in some parts of Lagos during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“It’s a shame that after over 58 years of independence, our people are still thinking in terms of tribal and ethnic groups, will it take us forever to achieve nationhood in Nigeria?, ’’ he asked.
He said that when leaders whipped up ethnic sentiments ,especially, close to elections, they were not true in their mission or calling.
“Any leader that places ethnicity close to elections, is not fair and balanced in the handling of national issues; such a leader will spur up ethnic rivalry type of followership.
“There has to be a point of departure from this destructive mindset and that point has to be instilled now in our leaders and their followers, ’’ he said.
Akhimien also said that there was the need to educate the young generation on how to be patriotic citizens of the country.
“ We owe future generations of Nigerians that duty to catch them young.
“This can be done if we review our educational curricula from the nursery to the tertiary levels, and promote subjects on patriotism, morality or ethics as the case may be,” he said.
He said this could be achieved by having transformational leadership, introducing legislation that would squarely address issues of hate speeches and ethnic biases.
“This kind of leadership is what should be in high demand in today’s Nigeria, those are the kind of leaders we should vote into office on March 9, ’’ he said.
He also spoke on the upcoming gubernatorial and the states assembly elections.
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to review the setbacks observed in the last presidential elections for a better performance in the coming one.
“As we get set to embark on the second round of our elections, we must take advantage of the benefit of hindsight to review some of the factors that marred the Presidential and national assembly elections.
“These range from performances of INEC, the political parties and the electorate, looking at logistical failures, election malpractices to political violence respectively, ’’ he said.
“Nigerians should not lose hope in the country. We are evolving as even other developed nations had.
“Democracy still remains our best bet in achieving a better coexistence and livelihood for the peoples of our pluralistic nation’’, he said.
He therefore, appealed to Nigerians to believe in INEC to deliver a successful and credible election come March 9 .
Election- GDPN flag bearer appeals to Nigerians to shun
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