4 Days To Go: Zoning Crusader Yakassai Rallies Voters For Jonathan
ABUJA, April 12, (THEWILL) – A Northern pro-zoning leader in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Tuesday appealed to Nigerian voters to shun religious and ethnic sentiments while casting their votes during Saturday's presidential elections.
Yakassai was among a group of Northern politicians that met President Goodluck Jonathan in the State House.
The politician said Nigerians voted individuals, and not for political parties during Saturday's elections.
Yakassai said, "From the results it is clear that Nigerians voted individuals and not the parties regardless of their religious affiliation and ethnic background.
"I appeal to Nigerians to continue to do that so that we can build a great nation.
"One thing I always observe is, if you go to the market, you find Hausas, Ibos, Yorubas and other ethnic groups interacting together.
"They never had a fight in any market in Nigeria on religious or ethnic basis.
"The common man in Nigeria is tolerant, if you find trouble along religious and ethnic lines, it is something organised from outside, not by the people."
Yakassai also commended Jonathan for ensuring that the Independent National Electoral Commission conducted free and fair polls.
He said, "I am highly delighted at the outcome of the elections, it shows Nigerians can do what many people may not believe that Nigerians are capable of doing.
"We give our gratitude and appreciation to INEC under the leadership of Prof. Jega, also we appreciate the attitude of Mr. President because without his cooperation, we will not have free and fair elections."
"Let us appeal to all Nigerians that in the coming elections, people should not relent in their efforts to ensure that successful elections were conducted.
"Not only the presidential election but also gubernatorial elections, that INEC should beware, that now parties know their relative strengths, this is the time when some parties will try to manipulate the process.
"INEC should double its effort to ensure that no political party tries to take advantage of the situation to try to improve its performance through foul means", he said.
Leader of the delegation, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali N'Abba, said the results from the National Assembly polls have shown that Nigerians can live together.
"The unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable, the people of Nigeria have shown that they can live together.
"Jonathan has demonstrated a commitment to keep democracy working in this country, even as a candidate.
"Hitherto votes never counted, now they do count and I believe this will go a long way in changing the psychology of Nigerians about democracy.
"In all elections, we will get some and lose some.
"On the balance, our party is leading and on Saturday we expect that President Jonathan will win the presidential election", he said.
The politician was initially one of the loudest voices in the PDP that had insisted on having a northerner as Presidential candidate of the party. All indications suggest that he has parted ways with the controversial Northern Political leaders Forum (NPLF), a umbrella of aggrieved northern politicians in the PDP that continues to insist on a northern presidential candidate for the party.