Dr. Jonathan who stated this in a message to Nigerians released by his office on Tuesday also urged politicians to eschew hatred and violence, be circumspect in their actions and work towards consolidating the nation’s democracy.
The former President further noted that 2023 election means so much to all the citizens, describing it as a moment of truth and courage. He stated: “Democracy has put our fate in our hands. It has given us power, the power to make the right choices, determine our future, and shape our destiny. I urge you all to make your respective choices in the best interest of our land. Let us make our choices peacefully and respect the choices and rights of others.”
“In recent times, West Africa and a few other nations in our continent have witnessed a crisis of democracy that has led to unconstitutional change of governments, which has derailed their democratic quest for peace and development.
“We must not allow our elections to be a source of violence and anarchy. We must desist from the temptation of yielding to those desirous of making our communities and states, theatres of conflicts for their selfish ends.
“Let us realize that the primary purpose of democracy is to uphold the freedom and dignity of citizens and deploy the instruments of governance toward advancing and improving the well-being of our people.
“We should strive to consolidate the gains we have recorded in our democracy in the last two decades by ensuring that the elections are peaceful, just, and fair.
“To politicians, this is a time to be circumspect in our actions and work towards consolidating our democracy. Power is sought and held in trust to be selflessly exercised in the interest of the people and seeking it at all costs negates this ideal and projects politicians in a bad light.
“Let us eschew hatred and violence and display true sportsmanship, during and after the poll.
“To our youth, the future belongs to you; do not allow yourselves to be used as agents of destruction and violence. Nigeria is yours to build. This election provides you with the opportunity to be key partners in the nation-building process by electing leaders of your choice; those you can hold to account, those you trust to defend your future and guarantee unity, peace, and prosperity in our great country.
“Finally, to all citizens, this is a moment of truth and courage. Democracy has put our fate in our hands. It has given us power, the power to make the right choices, determine our future, and shape our destiny.
“I urge you all to make your respective choices in the best interest of our land. Let us make our choices peacefully and respect the choices and rights of others”.