By Ben Agande
Kaduna—Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd), 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 the book on the late governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa.
The book is entitled, “Yakowa: A Dream Deferred,” written by Reuben Buhari, Yakowa’s spokesman.
•Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, retd
Abdulsalami noted that politicians had a very critical role in the sustenance of peace in the country.
He said: “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.”
The former head of state, who noted that it was time for younger Nigerians to begin to serve the country, said: “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 bill was passed and signed into law, the Not Too Young to Run bill, to enable the young ones contest.
“If I come back as President at 77, what can I do? I can’t even work properly.”
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.”
Governor Nasir el-Rufai who claimed he was not invited by the author of the book but sent a senior counsellor, Samaila Yakawada, to 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 tom launch the book.