By Henry Umoru
FORMER Military President Ibrahim Babangida yesterday condemned last Friday killing of the Borno State Candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Engr. Fannami Modu Gubio and six others, just as he said that the act which “is barbaric and frightening calls for worry by all in the country.”
In a statement signed yesterday in Abuja by his spokesperson, Prince Kassim Afegbua, the former Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, warned that politicians and political players must be good players of the game, adding that killing in the name of democracy must stop across the country as that would not in any way help in the growth and development of the country.
He said: “Killing ourselves in the name of democracy or for whatever motive, will neither help us as individual members of the union nor help elected governments to pursue our collective aspirations.
“These killings must stop in the name of God and for the sake of humanity. There is cause for worry. The conflagration in the country, the mindless killings in the land and the heightening fear of uncertainty which is currently enveloping the country, are not telling any good signs about our nationality.
“Different from what anyone may think, these negative indices have their negative impacts on our democracy, investment in the economy, planning, and forecasting for the future.”
“These killings must stop in the name of God and for the sake of humanity. We have braced all odds in our journey to where we are today, and the expectations must be that we have turned a new leaf to forge ahead. Politicians and political players must be ready to be good sports men and women. ‘’They must be prepared to accept the outcome of elections no matter how painful the loss could be.
“They must always bear in mind that the country comes first, before their aspirations. If there is no country, there cannot possibly be aspirations. They should please in the name of God, imbibe the spirit of being good winners and good losers. ‘’They should exhibit the fear of God in their day to day activities without provoking sentiments that could undermine the system. Security is everybody’s job; both government and the governed. There is no rational mind that would want to fan the embers of war when we are living witnesses to the footages of war in our sister African Countries. This is a wake up call to all and sundry.
The former Military leader who noted that ‘’the spate of politically motivated killings and assassinations in the country has assumed a frightening dimension”, stressed that as a country, the problem must be arrested forthwith, if we are truly desirous at building a solid foundation for democracy to thrive.
The statement read in part, ‘’the practice of democracy guarantees the right of the individual to express his opinion based on his ideological persuasion without coercion and intimidation. The principles of democracy encourage mass participation by the citizens to elect their leaders of choice at the various levels of governance, but the manifest cases of assassinations and wanton killings in the country negate those principles.
“The stories we hear everyday, the ones we read everyday and the general tell_tales of insecurity in the land should ordinarily call for a more pro_active approach by government and the people to arrest this dangerous trend. The growing insensitivity and intolerance by Nigerians is fast becoming a novel or strange idea on account of our communalism and sense of brotherliness and good neighbourliness.
“As Nigerians, we must continue to reflect on our sense of history, where we are coming from and how far we have travelled the route of nationhood, in our everyday indulgences. We must not be seen to be fanning the embers of disunity or trying as it were to provoke crises that have capacity to undermine the sovereignty of the country. ‘’We must continue to preach the gospel of peaceful co_existence in our present geographical entity, believing in the aspirations of each and everyone of us, as the defining basis for our collegiate existence.
“Having come thus far as an independent nation of fifty years, the expectation should be on how to redirect our energies and create the necessary synergy for development and growth. Democracy, which guarantees the right to elect leaders, should be a veritable platform to speak our minds without equivocation, rather than seek recourse to base instincts and sentiments that come with their barbaric and inhuman conduct. Killing ourselves in the name of democracy or for whatever motive, will neither help us as individual members of the union nor help elected governments to pursue our collective aspirations.
“Let me use this opportunity to express, with heavy heart, my condolences to the people and government of Borno State over the recent killing of the ANPP Gubernatorial candidate and six other persons. May Allah give the family and the Governor, the fortitude to bear with this painful loss. May Allah grant them paradise in the hereafter.”