The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said political activities leading to the 2015 elections should be based on sound ideologies, issues and principles rather than on ethnic or religious sentiments.
Maku said this in Abuja on Thursday at the public presentation of the autobiography of elder statesman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa.
The minister decried the activities and utterances of some politicians, especially in the race to the 2015 elections.
He said that the present generation of politicians had a lot to learn from some of the nation’s elder statesmen, including Alhaji Balarabe Musa.
He said that there was a clear distinction between being in the opposition and being in progressives, adding that not all politicians in the opposition were genuine progressives.
“I want to state here that the personality of Alhaji Balarabe Musa is one that President Goodluck Jonathan holds in high esteem and seriously feels should guide those in leadership position in Nigeria.
“Our values must define our politics, whether you are in the so called progressives or in the ruling party.
“Politicians must learn to respect the real ideals of politics, which is to serve and bring about development.
“The notion that if you are in the opposition, you automatically become a progressive is wrong.
“There are many who are in the opposition because they are merely looking for a platform to contest elections,” he said.
Maku advised politicians seeking elective positions in 2015 to adopt the zeal and commitment demonstrated by Alhaji Balarabe Musa while in office as Governor of Kaduna state in the second republic.
He said that the election of politicians to positions in government by Nigerians should be based on sound ideologies and feasible programmes and not by sectional or religious considerations.
Earlier in their separate remarks, former Governor of old Anambra, Sen. Jim Nwobodo and a pro-democracy activist, Mr Ayo Opadokun, paid glowing tributes to Alhaji Balarabe Musa.
They described Musa as a detribalised Nigerian, a selfless leader and an astute politician, whom they said had devoted his entire life to the service of his people.
Nwobodo, who is a contemporary of Balarabe Musa, said the present crop of politicians must emulate the discipline and selflessness exhibited by the second republic generation of politicians.
He said that the present challenges confronting the nation could be better addressed if politicians put away their differences, personal agenda and worked for the collective interest of Nigerians.
Nwobodo, who is also a delegate to the ongoing national conference, said that the debate on whether or not to subject resolutions of the conference to a referendum was unnecessary.
He said that the conveners of the conference must liaise properly with the legislature to ensure that the legal framework was put in place for a referendum before considering the option.
Nwobodo said that members of the legislature were elected and as such were constitutional empowered to make provisions for a referendum or not.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other contemporaries of the elder statesman, his political associates and family members attended the presentation of the book written by Mr Kevin Christiantus. (NAN)