The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said he welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year message in which the President said the 2019 election should not be a do-or-die affair.
Reacting to the President’s message in Abuja, the former Vice President said leaders should lead by example by preaching peace at all times.
Buhari had said in his New Year message that, elections need not be a do-or-die affair, and that politicians should not approach them with mortal fear.
Atiku, however, noted in a statement that it was not enough for the President to condemn do-or-die politics if he cannot control the activities of overzealous aides, including the country’s security chiefs, especially the Inspector General of Police whose activities lately gives him away as a partisan player in negation of his constitutional role.
The PDP presidential candidate advises Buhari to go beyond lip service and urge security chiefs to be politically neutral during the election, adding that their loyalty to the constitution doesn’t include putting themselves at the service of the ruling party at the expense of free and fair elections.
Atiku also called on President Buhari to follow the example of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who, in 2015, who he said walked the talk of the 2015 elections not being worth the blood of any Nigerian.
According to Atiku, Jonathan lived by his noble words and statesmanship when he conceded defeat without hesitation, thereby contributing to peaceful conduct of the election.
The PDP presidential candidate also reminded Buhari that it was not enough to “preach peace when he cannot publicly condemn the violent behaviour of his supporters who harass, molest and publicly humiliate his opponents and their supporters.”