Abuja- President Goodluck Jonathan has called on politicians to desist from using provocative statements and instigating their supporters against political opponents ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
Jonathan, who made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at a 2015 Elections Sensitisation Workshop, also advised politicians to desist from threatening their opponents.
The workshop was organised for political parties and their presidential candidates by the Office of the National Security Adviser in collaboration with the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Affairs for political parties.
The president decried a situation where a member of an opposition party threatened that the party would form a parallel government if it lost the presidential election.
This, he said, was not expected of a politician who claimed to have interest of the nation and its people at heart.
He reminded the politician concerned that violence could not guarantee the mandate of the people.
He maintained that if political violence could not be stopped, it could be curtailed if politicians and their supporters conducted their actions with decorum.
Jonathan charged the political class to learn to play politics without bitterness, saying that it was a panacea for violent-free elections.
He stressed the need to put certain things right, especially as they concerned the electorate and the issuance Permanent Voters` Card (PVC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to him, if not properly handled, the issue of PVC can create apprehension among the electorate and make them believe that their votes would not be reflected in the elections.
“What I am saying is that, there is a lot of apprehension and fear among the people.
“So, INEC needs to come out in very clear terms, to promise Nigerians that all of them that are qualified to vote will vote at the coming elections,’’ he said.
Jonathan said that it was also important for the commission to assure Nigerians that nobody would manipulate the system.
He pointed out that there was a need for the next government to evolve indigenous programmes and policies that would ensure violent-free polls in the country, adding that INEC should take another look at the Electoral Act.
According to him, this is necessary because some aspects of the Electoral Act encourage violence.
Jonathan re-assured Nigerians that contrary to predictions, the forthcoming general elections would not bring the country to an end and urged politicians to learn how to play modern politics.
He said that the winner-takes-all syndrome in the nation’s politics tailored after the parliamentary system used previously in the country was inimical to the polity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was attended by all registered political parties and their presidential candidates for the forthcoming elections as well as stakeholders. (NAN)