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Politicians Using Violence to Win Elections Are Armed Robbers and Conmen, Says Former Nigeria President Jonathan 

“My wish for Nigeria is for us to conduct peaceful elections. And for us who are politicians, our conduct matters a lot.”

Former Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has warned politicians against using violent methods to win elections, saying it would portray them as armed robbers and con artists.

Jonathan gave this warning on Saturday in Bayelsa State when he spoke to journalists after casting his ballot papers in the presidential and National Assembly elections.  

He said: “My wish for Nigeria is for us to conduct peaceful elections. And for us who are politicians, our conduct matters a lot. I always tell politicians not to use unorthodox means like using violence to win elections. You behave like an armed robber or con man when you do that.

“An armed robber makes money through robberies, but everybody knows he is an armed robber. A conman makes money by deceiving people. But everyone knows that they are not decent members of society.  A politician should conduct his affairs fairly and visibly so that his supporters and others will know that he is clean.

“The whole world is looking at us.  Very many senior global citizens are in Nigeria today because of this election. They want us to succeed. And we must not fail.”

The former president made it plain that no politician would be in office forever, and therefore there is no reason to view electoral victories as a do-or-die battle.

 “I made a statement three days ago when the parties and their presidential candidates signed commitments to peaceful elections. I would have been there personally, but for my commitment in Bamako, Mali, where I was a bit trapped. But my speech was read by Bishop Kukah, and all of us advised that the election must be peaceful.

“Politicians should know that they do not own this country. And nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian; not at all. People should not begin to think, ‘I have money, and I am contesting for Senate or governor or president, and people must die because they are contesting.’ We must imbibe this.

“After all, I was a deputy governor and governor in Bayelsa State and later vice president and president. That is eight years in Bayelsa and eight years in Abuja. But now I am back in Bayelsa as an ordinary citizen. One day you (politicians) will leave that office,” Jonathan said.

He, however, commended the introduction of the BVAS but chided the INEC for the late distribution of electoral materials to polling units.