How Nigeria can avoid crisis in 2019 - Gambari

by Daily Trust

A former Minister of External Affairs and former representatives of Nigeria in United Nations (UN), Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, has expressed concerns over the increasing tensions in the country ahead the 2019 general elections.

Speaking at the fourth annual lecture of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) yesterday in Abuja, Ambassador Gambari also said though the doomsday scenario painted ahead of the 2015 elections did not come to pass due to efforts of some eminent persons and key initiatives and responsible actions of the third players, “there should be no room for complacency as we approach the 2019 elections.’’

The former external affairs minister also said Nigerians had never been more divided in the history of the nation’s existence, than they were at the present, adding that “this is a defining moment in our journey for national unity, national integration and national development.”

He said all the forces worked together to save the country from war during the 2015 elections must be re-mobilized once more and more vigorously to build on the gains of the 2015 general elections.

Gambari, who insisted that political parties must meet the expectations of the type leaders that Nigerians want, said, “In this regard, we must demand for leadership that is inclusive and knowledgeable about socio-economic development issues.”

He added that “we must demand leaders who respect and uphold the constitution and obey the rule of law. The political parties must throw up candidates who have a clear vision for the future of our country and who are pro-active in addressing the obstacles to the realization of that vision. In this regard, the political parties need to ensure that their flag bearers must reflect Competence, Capacity and Character”.

He also said the growing poverty and economic inequalities in the country were fuelling the divide in the country, calling on government officials to do more to alleviate poverty.

Speaking earlier, the NBC’s Director General, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu said broadcasting should be a bridge-building industry, not a space that divides the people.

“Broadcasting is a platform which reflects the social space, it can often be a conveyor of the deep emotions associated with ethno-cultural and religious divide, hence the need for broadcasting to be a bridge-building industry,” he said.

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