Political Assassinations: These Senseless killings Must Stop - IBB
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 30, (THEWILL) - "There is cause for worry. The conflagration in the country, the mindless killings in the land and the heightening fear of uncertainty which is currently enveloping the country, are not telling any good signs about our nationality.
"The spate of politically motivated killings and assassinations in the country has assumed a frightening dimension and must be arrested forthwith, if we are truly desirous of building a solid foundation for democracy to thrive," former military dictator General Ibrahim Babangida said today in a statement reacting to the series of both political and religious killings that has rocked various parts of the country in the past few months which climaxed with last Friday’s murder in Borno State of a leading Governorship candidate of the ANPP, Mr. Fannami Modu Gubio, and six other persons inside his residence.
Describing the killings as negative indices impacting negatively on democracy, investment in the economy, planning and forecasting for the future, the statement by his media assistant, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, urged politicians to learn to accept defeat and encourage divergent views on issues.
Babangida said: "Having come thus far as an independent nation of 50 years, the expectation should be on how to redirect our energies and create the necessary synergy for development and growth.
"Democracy, which guarantees the right to elect leaders, should be a veritable platform to speak our minds without equivocation, rather than seek recourse to base instincts and sentiments that come with their barbaric and inhuman conduct. Killing ourselves in the name of democracy or for whatever motive, will neither help us as individual members of the union nor help elected governments to pursue our collective aspirations.
"The spate of politically motivated killings and assassinations in the country has assumed a frightening dimension and must be arrested forthwith, if we are truly desirous of building a solid foundation for democracy to thrive.
"The practice of democracy guarantees the right of the individual to express his opinion based on his ideological persuasion without coercion and intimidation. The principles of democracy encourage mass participation by the citizens to elect their leaders of choice at the various levels of governance, but the manifest cases of assassinations and wanton killings in the country negate those principles.
"The stories we hear everyday, the ones we read everyday and the general tell-tales of insecurity in the land should ordinarily call for a more pro-active approach by government and the people to arrest this dangerous trend.
"These killings must stop in the name of God and for the sake of humanity. We have braced all odds in our journey to where we are today, and the expectations must be that we have turned a new leaf to forge ahead.
"Politicians and political players must be ready to be good sports men and women. They must be prepared to accept the outcome of elections no matter how painful the loss could be.
"They must always bear in mind that the country comes first, before their aspirations. If there is no country, there cannot possibly be aspirations. They should please in the name of God, imbibe the spirit of being good winners and good losers.
"They should exhibit the fear of God in their day to day activities without provoking sentiments that could undermine the system. The growing insensitivity and intolerance by Nigerians is fast becoming a novel or strange idea on account of our communalism and sense of brotherliness and good neighbourliness.
"As Nigerians, we must continue to reflect on our sense of history, where we are coming from and how far we have travelled the route of nationhood, in our everyday indulgences. We must not be seen to be fanning the embers of disunity or trying as it were to provoke crises that have capacity to undermine the sovereignty of the country.
"We must continue to preach the gospel of peaceful co-existence in our present geographical entity, believing in the aspirations of each and everyone of us, as the defining basis for our collegiate existence."
"Let me use this opportunity to express, with heavy heart, my condolences to the people and government of Borno State over the recent killing of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate and six other persons. May Allah give the family and the Governor, the fortitude to bear this painful loss," General Babangida stated.