Anyaoku berates politicians for ethnicising 2015 presidency

By The Citizen

Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has warned politicians and high profile citizens against sectionalising the 2015 presidency.

He said such agitation premised on ethnicity could portend grave consequences for the country.

Anyaoku issued the warning on Friday evening in Abuja while delivering a lecture entitled, 'Nigerian public service in the age of open Government: Giving voice to the people,' during the 2013 Public Service Day.

The event was organised by the Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

He also appealed to politicians to desist from politicising the security challenges.

He said, 'The leaders of all our political parties and ethno-cultural groups in the various parts of the country should, in the interest of national security, rally round to support the Federal Government's measures to deal with the atrocities being perpetrated by terrorist groups.

'I am concerned about the worrisome statements being made about the 2015 elections by a number of our high profile citizens. I call on our politicians and opinion makers to stop and think of the implications for the country's stability of the battle lines for the elections being drawn on sectional and ethnic basis.

'We hear declarations from notable nationals that the Presidency in 2015 must come from a specific area of the country, and we also hear at the same time from notable nationals that a different area must have its full two terms of eight years.'

Anyaoku noted that competition among individual candidates for political office should be driven by specific pledges of how to serve the various concerns of the electorate, rather than sheer quest for position and power.

'If we are to promote our national solidarity, and if we are to succeed in entrenching our democracy, our politicians and leaders of thought must move away from section-based to policy-based politics. Campaigns and advocacy of support for candidates must be based on the manifestos of political parties outlining policies and programmes for addressing the various challenges facing the country and its citizens,' he said.

In his speech at the event, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Bukar Goni-Aji, called on Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora to assist in rejuvenating the civil service.