John Alechenu, Abuja
FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan and the ex-National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, as well as elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, have said character is required for democracy to flourish across the world.
The elder statesmen spoke separately in Abuja on Thursday.
They spoke in response to the attack on America’s Capitol Hill by supporters of the outgoing President, Donald Trump, on Wednesday.
Jonathan, who spoke via a post on his Facebook page, said, “I have repeatedly said nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any citizen in any part of the world; absolutely nobody.
“Again, I reiterate that it is better to lose power at the cost of gaining peace, than to gain power at the price of losing the peace. As a leader, one must not just look unto one’s own interest, but the interest and the good of society. It is never too late to reject the venom and inject the serum of peace.
“It is necessary to state that the highest purpose of leadership is to bring people together, even those that do not share in your philosophy. And you do not need an office to do that. All you need to achieve that height of leadership is conscience. Let us be men of conscience at this hour.”
Jonathan made history as an incumbent Nigerian President by conceding defeat to the then opposition candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), while the 2015 election results were still being collated.
On his part, Odigie-Oyegun, in a telephone interview with The PUNCH, said, “I was totally astonished at what happened in America. It has done me one good; it has finally taught me that even in the so-called developing world, we are not as bad as we have been making ourselves look.
“All of a sudden, the greatest and the most painful degree of lack of principles, lack of care for national interest was on display.