Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan has called on Nigerians to embrace peace and shun violence ahead the shifted general elections.
He made the call during a meeting with Niger-delta youth leaders also urged the electorate to shun vote buying and vote according to their conscience.
Jonathan was in Bayelsa his home state at the weekend for the polls earlier scheduled for Feb. 16 and March 2 and later shifter by one week to Feb. 23 and March 9 called on Nigerians to remain peaceful.
“Use of money to induce voters has become very prevalent in Nigeria.
“It is more pronounced here than many African countries I have been to monitor elections and it is unhealthy for our development and my NGO is working on advocacy against it.
“Politics should be about the people and anyone who wants to make quick money should go into business and quit politics which is all about service to the people.
“People should vote according to the dictates of their conscience and not be induced by money.
“I have said it repeatedly that no one’s ambition should be worth the spilling of the blood of any Nigerian, peace is fundamental to economic development and the reports of insecurity and violence scares away investors.
“Anytime someone is killed either by security agencies or by any other exra judicial means it affects the reputation of the country adversely and that is why peace building is very essential especially with the youths.
“Our youths are critical in our democracy because the future belongs to them so my advise is that we should be patient and shun violence in the coming elections,” Jonathan said.
Earlier, Mr Kenedy Tonjo-West, a Niger-delta youth leader said that representatives of Niger-delta youths from across the region were in Bayelsa to applaud the former President for his efforts at peace building.
He said that the exemplary leadership style of politics without violence and bitterness was an inspiration to Niger-delta youths.
West, who is also a Senior Special Adviser on Niger-delta youth matters to Bayelsa Governor noted the Jonathan’s influence on the youths of the region was responsible for the prevailing peace in the region.
He said that youths from the region were in Bayelsa to seek counsel from the former president following the shift in election date.
Mr Peretubo Oweilaemi, President of Ijaw Youth Council said that youths from the Niger-delta region remain proud of the former President who relinquished power in the interest of peace and development of Nigeria.
“The emphasis of our amiable leader Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on peace and peace building is very commendable despite his poitical persuation he has chosen to always advocate peace and we the youths are learning from him.
“We have seen the region which is very crucial to the country’s economy grow in peace because you advocate and preach peace all the time since you left office as President,” Oweilaemi said.