Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has stated that the conduct of the 2015 general elections will go a long way in determining the continued existence of Nigeria as one country.
He said the determination of the North to reclaim power in 2015 and what he termed the ‘body language’ of President Goodluck Jonathan to seek another term portend grave danger for the nation.
Abubakar, who made these views known in his capacity as chairman of a conference organised by the Peoples Daily in Abuja on Thursday, warned that the election must be well handled in order not to jeopardize the country’s future.
He said, “As political animals that we are, nothing seems to have gripped the imagination of Nigerians as the issue of the coming 2015 general elections, which in my view is a watershed moment in the history of our dear country.
“The way we are able to handle this very important event will largely determine how successful we will be in our efforts at remaining a united, indivisible and stable country.
“Already, the fault lines are apparent and politicians are ready to exploit them to the fullest to achieve their sometimes not so noble objectives”.
He added, “The north is determined to have it back and its leaders are pulling all the stops to see that that happens.
“On the other hand, the body language of the incumbent president strongly suggests he wants another term in office”.
The former military ruler opined that “the unfolding scenario may portend danger to our nation if Nigerians from all parts of the country do not close ranks and put the interest of the nation first”.
Abubakar, who voluntarily relinquished power to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, explained that the sad and tragic experience of the 2011 post-election violence was a reminder that election matters had become serious business, which must be handled with the utmost seriousness and patriotism in order to avoid a replay of the violence that greeted the outcome of the last general elections in the country.