Presidential primaries: Ex- govs urge APC, PDP, others to put Nigeria first

Ahead of the epic presidential conventions of the major political parties, politicians on the aegis of Former Governors Forum have cautioned stakeholders to put Nigeria first and do all they can to forestall crisis that would truncate the nascent democracy.

The Forum, in a press statement, Tuesday, signed by its chairman and former governor of Niger state, Dr Babangida Aliyu, and executive secretary, Professor Tunde Esan, called for “rancour free, and orderly presidential conventions, where winners are humble and magnanimous in victory and losers are selfless and mature in defeat.”

The Forum said, “In the past few months, heightened political activities have taken the center stage in our country, and political party’s engagements, have brought to the front burner, actions and inactions, that elevate personal interests, above national interests , parochial interests above corporate national interests and goals.”

Warning of dire consequences if actors do not play within the confines of the rules, the former governors said they “take exception to actions that threaten our togetherness,” noting that “the national conventions of the parties will surely be a test case.”

“For over a hundred years, sixty one of it as an independent nation, our nation Nigeria; has been a beacon of hope for the black race. Not necessarily because we have acted above board or gotten it right all the time, as a nation, but by divine arrangement embedded in our geography and population, African renaissance, and black race will be enhanced by our greatness and prosperity. We cannot afford to ignore this. This should trump ethnic considerations, zoning permutations and selfish ambitions. The black race will be in tears, if we don’t get it right.

“The Forum of Former Governors will be proud to trumpet a hitch free, a rancour free, and an orderly Presidential conventions, where winners are humble and magnanimous in victory and losers are selfless and mature in defeat. We cannot afford anything less than this,” the statement said.