Sokoto – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo  has stressed the need for Nigerians to be united in spite of  their cultural , religious and ethnic differences.

Obasanjo at the flag off of  the second term re-election bid of the Sokoto Governor Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko,  said the nation  must manage its diversity well.

The former president  urged Nigerians to elect  a leader who  would be able to provide stability and visionary  leadership.

`We should not vote on the basis of  religion or sectionalism but on the basis of the present need of the country,’’ he said.

Obasanjo  expressed delight  that  the country  had continued to remain united , adding: “I thank God that we still have a country we can call Nigeria undiminished .’’

He stressed the  need to improve security  while  tackling unemployment , poverty and poor infrastructure.

The former president  also commended  Wamakko for transforming the state in the last four years.

“ I have never seen a crowd like this in my life. Sokoto is a historic city in Nigeria with a special place among all the cities in Nigeria, ”  he said.

He called on the people of the state to give their mandate to Wamakko again in the forthcoming polls, assuring them  that he would not fail.

Also speaking at the rally, Transport Minister Yusuf Suleiman urged the people to vote for Wamakko to ensure continuity.

`PDP has come to stay in Sokoto and we will continue to do all that we can to promote the growth of our state,’’ he said.

He also called on party supporters to guard their votes and shun all forms of  violence.

Suleiman said  the state government had taken steps to provide a level-playing field for candidates.

He called for political tolerance and understanding to sustain the peace in the state. (NAN)

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