The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has urged Nigerians to pursue the search for peace, stressing that it was only in building on the culture of peace that meaningful socio-economic development could be guaranteed in the New Year.
Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, who said this, explained that irrespective of religious, political or ideological differences, people must support genuine efforts aimed at ensuring that the conduct of general elections is successful and devoid of needless bickering capable of threatening the nation’s corporate existence.
Gov. Aliyu, in a statement in Minna yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel Ebije, said the New Year would be a crucial year for the country.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to enter the year with renewed hopes, stressing that the citizens could not afford to miss out in numerous opportunities that the New Year has to offer.
The northern governors also called on politicians to play politics according to the rules of the game and shun acts capable of plunging the country into avoidable crisis.
According to the forum, the unity and developmental aspirations of Nigeria are sacrosanct.
The statement reads: “We must all make sure that the elections are devoid of violence. All hands must be on deck. The electoral body and other critical establishments connected to the elections must be ready to go extra miles in the execution of their respective assignments.
“We also expect security agencies to subject their personnel to necessary pre-election monitoring trainings and programmes”.
Wishing Nigerians a prosperous and fruitful new year, the forum urged everyone to be prayerful and law-abiding.
“It is indeed instructive for politicians to desist from overheating the polity with inciting comments, hate speech as well as blackmail. We should think of what benefits the entire country than what individuals stand to gain. This is the only country we can call our own. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that things go on well.
“Undoubtedly, Nigeria is on the verge of attaining greatness beginning from this very year. Those who think the nation won’t survive the general elections should be ready to bury their heads in shame.
“Nigeria will not only survive the election year, but it will become more peaceful and generally safe”.