Godswill Akpabio, a former minority leader of the senate, has advised Nigerians to stop viewing appointment and contracts as the dividends of democracy.
Akpabio, who is also a former governor of Akwa Ibom, gave the advice in an interview with NAN on Sunday.
“Nigerians should ensure that they elect good and committed leaders at all elections, and stop expecting patronage in terms of appointments or contracts,” he said.
“Good governance and delivery of critical infrastructure are the best reward system that any leadership can give the citizenry, and any leader that does these deserves mass support.”
Akpabio urged politicians to run decent campaigns and stop politicising tragedies as the elections approach.
He said Nigeria’s unity is more important than politics and urged that “Nigerian politicians should learn to run decent campaigns and try to shy away from issues that can generate violence or further polarise our country as we approach the elections.
“They should stop jubilation whenever we experience set back in the war against insurgency, it is a collective responsibility to ensure that Nigeria is safe and we should all show commitment to that cause.
“The reason why we are contesting for political leadership in the first place is because there is a country called Nigeria; if Nigeria stops to exist today, our politics will become useless.”
Akpabio advised politicians to see the advantage in the size and diversity of the country.
“The reason why we are respected across the world is because of our population and our diverse ethnic configuration,” he said.
“Politicians are supposed to use these factors to further engender peace and unity in the country, instead of creating hatred and enmity amongst their followers.”
The senator defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in August 2018.