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Gambari challenges Nigerian leaders on free, fair elections

By Umar Yusuf

Yola — The Under Secretary General and Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, has told Nigerian leaders that the task of nation building never ends and every serious nation must continue to replenish the basis of its institutions, economy and collective will.

He challenged political leaders to ensure that elections of whatever type are free, fair, transparent and above all devoid of crisis.

Prof. Gambari, who spoke in Yola weekend at the Founder’s Day of American University of Nigeria observed that credible conduct of elections in a democratic set up was cardinal in nation building of such country.

In his keynote address entitled: “The pursuit of excellence in the task of nation building,” the envoy said free, fair and crisis-free election as well as individual sacrifice and quality of excellence symbolise the entire nation.

“Free and fair election is what we want to see in Nigeria next year. Anything short of that will not take us anywhere and will be drawing the pendulum of our development backward. Except you give leaders their mandate, there is no way you can tell them to be transparent,” he observed.

He added that for leaders to be held accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities, their mandates must not be denied, stressing that a situation where those who do not win elections are sworn-in and assigned responsibilities creates room for corruption, ineptitude and disenchantment.

The envoy maintained that an individuals sacrifice and qualities of excellence symbolised the entire nation, adding: “Though nations are a collective expression of the people, yet individuals play an important role in the founding and development of such nations.”


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