Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State (left), former Nigeria President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and wife, Dame Patience
The former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has called on Nigerians to avoid electing those described as “killers” in the 2023 general elections, which is scheduled to hold February next year.
Jonathan made the clarion call to the youths of Nigeria in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Sunday during a thanksgiving service to mark the 35th anniversary of the state. The governor of Akwa Ibom State Mr Udom Emmanuel had invited the former president, and his wife, Patience, as special guests of honour at the service, which was also attended by the governor of his home state — Bayelsa — Mr. Douye Diri.
He stated, “In 2023, you must not make the mistake to vote killers. Those who carry knives, guns, and all kinds of gadgets to go and kill people because of politics, are the enemies of society. If you kill to become a leader, you will continue to kill to remain a leader and the people will continue to suffer.”
The former president said he has monitored the growth of Akwa Ibom, adding that he has been visiting the state at least once a year since he joined the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, now Niger Delta Development Commission, in 1994 as an assistant director.
While thanking the youth of the state for not vandalising infrastructure, the former president recalled how some people sabotaged his development efforts in the power sector by felling towers because they wanted Nigeria to remain in darkness. Jonathan said the election of the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, should teach politicians a good lesson, especially those who doubted Emmanuel’s ability to manage “human beings”.
Emmanuel was an Executive Director at Zenith Bank before he was appointed Secretary to Akwa Ibom State government, a position he later resigned from to vie for the governorship of the state, which he won in 2015.
Earlier in his speech, Emmanuel thanked the people of the state for their support and described this year’s state anniversary as his last as the state governor. The governor said Akwa Ibom has become a state with a “strong national story and a sparkling destination of choice for Nigerians and others around the world”.
He appreciated the people for the choice of “Moving Forward,” as the theme of the celebrations but also reminded them that in “moving forward we have to also look back.”
He referenced Joseph, a Biblical figure who later became the Prime Minister of Egypt and added that the children of Israel suffered because of Joseph’s mistake.
“Joseph made a mistake in Egypt when he was about to go, he did not look at the issue of who succeeded him and that is why the children of Israel suffered.
“If you are a God-sent man you must also learn. I’ve learnt from what Joseph did and today we went back to God, and I want to appreciate all Akwa Ibomites because a man after God’s heart will come after another man after God’s heart,” Emmanuel said.
He promised to complete before leaving office next year, the international worship centre that his administration is building in the state.