By Ben Agande, Kaduna
Former Head of state General Abdulsalami Abubakar has called on politicians to work towards ensuring peaceful conduct of the 2019 elections by refraining from inciting campaigns.
He made the appeal at the launch of a book on the late Governor of Kaduna state, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa entitled: Yakowa: A Dream Deferred written by Reuben Buhari, Yakowa’s spokesman.
General Abdulsalam said politicians have a very critical role in the sustenance of peace in the country.
“Politicians and their political parties hold the key to the creation of an environment that could foster free, fair and credible elections.
“May I urge all of us, especially the politicians to continue to jealously guard the peace of our dear country. I urge us to refrain from political campaigns laced with religious or ethnic peculiarities, rather concentrate on issue based campaigns” he said.
The former head of state said it is time for younger Nigerians to come up and begin to serve the country.
“One of the essence of life is to mentor the young ones and see them grow and that is why in the wisdom of the National Assembly and the President a law was passed and signed, Not Too Young to Run to enable the young ones contest, because if I come back as the President at 77 what can I do. I can’t even walk properly” he said.
He eulogised the late governor of Kaduna state for his leadership qualities and urged the younger generations to learn from his virtues.
“I thank you all who have taken time to come here. I pray that all the good things that have been said and would be said about our late brother will serve as an inspiration to our upcoming leaders.
“We are here to immortalize one of the great sons of Kaduna state. As a former head of state who appointed Yakowa as the first minister of solid minerals. I testify that it was the late Yakowa that laid the foundation and the road map for solid minerals in the country upon which all success in that sector was recorded.
“Late Yakowa and I remained close confidant. Since Yakowa left Abuja to serve at home first as the Secretary to the State Government, rising to be elected as Deputy Governor and then Governor, I followed his achievements and I must say that am proud”
Governor Nasir El Rufai who claimed he was not invited by the author of the book but sent a senior counsellor Samaila Yakawada o represent him said he was working hard to complete the infrastructure started by the late Yakowa.
“His excellency, Mallam Nasir El-rufai was not invited by the organisers, but asked me to represent him here. He said he is working to complete infrastructures left behind by previous administrations”.
Governor El-rufai announced a donation of N2 million for the book launch.