By Abimbola Ogunnaike
Two days to Governorship and State Assembly Elections, former President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to politicians against do-or-die politics, saying those who aspire to rule should not force themselves on the people.
Jonathan gave the appeal on Thursday, 16 March, 2023 at Sampou community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State shortly after paying a condolence visit to Governor Douye Diri who lost his father, Pa Abraham Diri.
Bayelsa, the home state of the former President, will conduct only the state assembly election on Saturday, 18 March, 2023, while its Governorship Election is scheduled for 11 November, 2023.
Governor Douye Diri spokesman, Mr Daniel Alabrah, told journalists in a statement on Thursday, 16 March, 2023 that former President Jonathan also stressed that politics should be about service and not about self, urging politicians to wait for God’s time to get into leadership positions.
Jonathan noted that in a democracy, the people played a critical role and wondered why those who aspire to lead want to force themselves on the people.
He also advised people of the state to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during the election.
“Leadership is not by force. It is about serving the people. So, if you want to lead the people, you cannot kill them before you lead them. In Bayelsa, the challenges will be minimal because we do not have governorship election on Saturday. But I urge our people to conduct themselves well,” Jonathan said.
Speaking on the late Pa Diri, the former President said the death of a parent was painful but urged the family of the departed to take solace in the worthy legacies he left.
Jonathan said that the fact that Pa Diri produced a governor meant he inculcated good virtues in his children and prayed that God give the Diri family the fortitude to bear the loss.
“When you go for condolence visit, sometimes you lack words. We are lucky that our father lived for 88 years but that is not the most important. What you will be remembered for is what matters. From the messages so far, it is clear he lived a worthy life.
“He had good qualities that probably helped him produce a governor. We have come to join the governor and members of his family and community to console you and the rest of the family,” Jonathan said.
Responding, Diri, described the visit of the former president as special, saying his family and community were strengthened by his presence.
Diri, who traced his relationship with Jonathan to when he (Jonathan) was Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, said he became very close to the ex-president until Jonathan became Governor and appointed him (Diri) as a commissioner.