Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Ahead of the March 9 gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections, the Presidency has called on members and supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (PC), to measure their words and be humble in victory in order not to jeopardise the party’s chances in the coming elections.
Presidential Liaison to the National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, made the appeal while fielding questions from State House correspondents on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Enang, while congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on their victory, noted that unguarded statements and arrogance were capable of inciting the opposition party to anger.
He said: “What we as a government and a people should do is to ensure that our statements, our actions, our celebrations and our reaction to those who lost should be tempered, temperate, measured, humble and such that are not capable of inciting the other party to anger.
“What we should also do, all of us in government, all those who have won as senators, members of the House of Representatives, our followers in the party should be to speak less and work more to bring about unity and integration of those who have lost.
“The real winners in this election are the Nigerian voters, and we are conscious that about 11 million people voted for the other party while 15 million voted for our party.
We will take steps to know the aspirations of those who voted there; what were their considerations? What did they want the government to do? We will take that up.
“For the incoming members of the National Assembly, first things for the members who have been re-elected, first as senators and members of the House of Representatives is to congratulate them; for those who were elected newly and those who are coming in, we congratulate and welcome them. We are praying that their actions should also be conciliatory and in the next election, we are going into on March 9, we should look at it as a party and as a government, various areas, and the pitfalls and address them so that there would be peaceful elections.
“I will advise that all those who are going for the election, campaigning, the governorship candidates and the House of Assembly candidates who are going in for the elections, they should also measure their campaign words and they should maintain peace better than it was maintained during the presidential and National Assembly elections.
“This election is closer to the people; closer to the grassroots and tempers are likely to be higher, so they should measure their campaign actions and speeches.
“The security agencies did well; they should maintain the tempo as they did so that their neutrality will be sustained; the police, the army, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and all other security agencies should maintain absolute neutrality in that exercise; they should sustain that so that the credibility that has been given to this election by the monitors and the international community would be sustained.
“Finally, I will urge the opposition parties which has lost the election to be measured in their statements and reactions and their decisions. If they have a grievance, let them go through the appropriate constitutional channel.”