Mr Donald Duke, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), has called on politicians and political parties to focus on issues, not on personalities, as the 2019 general elections draw closer.
Duke, a former governor of Cross River (1999-2007) made the call in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Calabar.
He decried the growing trend by some politicians who, instead of exploring solutions to the problems facing Nigeria, spend valuable time heating up the polity by planting stories that are divisive.
According to him, such act leads to a trail of extreme ethnic and religious prejudices, bitterness, animosity and fear.
Duke said that Nigeria needs solutions to the many issues that have affected the growth of the nation.
He listed some of the challenges facing the country as power failure, stunted growth of the oil and gas industry, infrastructure breakdown and the inconsistency in the educational system.
“This is not how to play politics. We must reject such politicians as they do not have much to offer Nigeria at this critical time.
“The real issues are there for all to see. There is hunger in the midst of plenty, unemployment abounds, insecurity everywhere, our health institutions are all gone, and life expectancy has dropped drastically.
“We have failed to manage the enormous resources that God has so graciously blessed us with. That is the real problem,’’ Duke said.
He said that Nigerians were not asking for much by demanding for a living wage, functional schools, health facilities and good roads.
The presidential hopeful described Nigerians as some of the most hard working people on earth who deserve to enjoy the basic social infrastructure that can enhance their lives.