Prof. Patrick Lumumba, President, Patrick Lumumba Foundation, Kenya has called on Nigerian politicians to accept whatever the outcome of the election petition tribunals would be for the sake of the peace and unity of the country.
Lumumba made the call on Saturday (May 6, 2023) in Lafia, Nasarawa State while delivering a lecture at the 2023 Annual Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Leadership and Good Governance Lecture and Awards.
According to Lumumba who served as the Guest Speaker at the event, Nigerians on February 25 and March 11 took to the polls and elected leaders at national and state levels.
He said the results are now out with winners and losers, with joy and bitterness being expressed in different quarters.
“Yet amidst all these, for the greater good of Nigeria, it behoves all to protect the motherland and ensure that the country remain united and stable.
“Those who have been declared winners must not gloat and those who have lost must not be vanquished,” the said.
He commended aggrieved persons who had approached tribunals to seek for redress and advised that they should accept the decisions of the tribunals at the end of the day.
The renowned Pan-Africanist said as a Lawyer, he would not discuss matters relating to the election results that are still sub judice.
He explained that Nigerian politicians must give priority to the unity of the country and preserve it to the next generation.
He added that stability in Nigeria is very important to the rest of Africa countries because it is the nerve center of the entire continent.
“If there is instability in Nigeria, the whole of Africa will suffer, because other African countries cannot contain the large population that will be affected,” he added.
He further advised politicians to emulate the life of Honesty, Transparency, true leadership and sacrifice that the Late Ahmadu Bello lived and died for.
He argued that what the continent of Africa needs is change of character of its citizens and sincere leadership and followers to fix its system and not technology or machine.
He said that no matter the introduction of technology in the electoral system, if citizens are bad and corrupt, the system would still not work because it would be compromised.
“What is more important to provide good governance and improve the system is the human beings and not the machine created by the human beings themselves,” added.
Earlier, the host Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, welcomed other leaders from the 19 Northern States and the guest speaker for the thought-provoking presentation.
The Nasarawa State Governor however advised Northern leaders to show more commitment to support and attend the annual memorial lecture in honour of the Late Premier of the Northern region.
Speaking on the 2023 general elections, Governor Sule explained that there was improvement as compared to the previous elections.
“The votes scored by Bola Tinubu, President-elect and other candidates in the 2023 presidential election was less than the votes gotten in elections from 1999-2019 because of improvement in the electoral system,” he added.
On his part, Simon Lalong, Governor of Plateau State and Chairman, Northern Governor’s Forum said the annual memorial lecture was aimed at immortalizing thier leader and reminding the northerners on the need to emulate his developmental strides.
He added that despite the lack of enough resources at that time, the Late Ahmadu Bello was able to build many institutions in the region and called on the present crop of leaders to emulate him to put it at per with other parts of the country.
Also, Mu’azu Babangida-Aliyu, former Governor of Niger State and Chairman of Board of Trustees of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation expressed gratitude to the Nasarawa State Government for successfully hosting the 2023 edition of the programme.
The Board of Trustees Chairman explained that they wanted to hold the lecture before the general elections so as to set agenda for the election, but could not because of certain factors.
On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Bangari congratulated the Northern leaders for the programme and the guest speaker.
The theme of the lecture is ‘Credible 2023 General Elections as Panacea to Search for Quality Leadership in Nigeria’.