Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called on Nigerians to avoid actions capable of provoking one another and leading the country to another national conflict.
Abiodun made the call during a special church service to mark the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration, held at the Cathedral Church of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta, on Sunday.
The governor specifically urged Nigerians who are fond of beating the drum of war to desist from such action as the general elections draw closer.
“Let me call on all of us, we must do everything to ensure that we avoid actions that are capable of provoking one another, actions that are capable of leading us to war or any other national conflict.
“For people constantly beating the drum of war, let us ensure that particularly, as we prepare for the 2023 general elections, we do not do anything to overheat the polity,” he said.
Abiodun, while noting that his administration in the last three and half years has lowered the political temperature in the state and allowed every political party to market their franchise, appealed to all Nigerians to participate in the forthcoming general elections.
The governor who also called on youths in the country to shun all acts of violence and thuggery, urged parents and guardians to ensure that their children and wards are not used as thugs during the election.
“We must ensure that we participate in this electoral process. We’ve been advised that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has now made the Permanent Voter’s Card available at different wards, we enjoin you to please go and collect your PVCs, because, without your PVCs, you will not be able to exercise your franchise.
“We want to enjoin you that as responsible citizens, they say that a people deserve the leaders that they choose, you will not be able to choose your future leaders if you do not collect your PVCs, you will not be able to be part of the Renewed Hope for Nigeria if you do not collect your cards.
“I want to appeal to the youths who are also today’s future, please, shun all acts of violence, thuggery, cultism and drug abuse and our parents, do not allow your children to be used as thugs in the cause of this 2023 general elections,” he added.
He further noted that the 2023 election is a referendum on the performance of his administration, calling on the people of the state to come out in their large numbers and vote for the continuity of his focused administration.
Abiodun emphasized that his administration would continue to remember its fallen heroes by giving support to them through the Nigeria Legion.
He called on good spirited individuals and organisations to come to the aid of the families left behind by the country’s fallen heroes.
In his message with the theme; “Remembrance of our giants”, the Bishop of United African Methodist Church, Ijemo, Abeokuta, the Rt. Rev Noah Adekanbi Olabisi, who took his sermon from the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 10, Verse 7, described January 15 as a date set aside to remember the great men and women who died defending the territorial integrity of the country.
Adekanbi, while commending the sacrifices of the fallen heroes as one that had helped to make the country stronger, made a case for the families they left behind, saying that the families would need the prayers, financial and material support of Nigerians.
The clergyman while praying for a peaceful election that would be free from bloodshed and acrimony, noted that what the country needed at the moment were leaders and not rulers.
He acknowledged the great stride of Governor Abiodun in ensuring a more prosperous state, even as he called on the younger generation to stay away from thuggery and vote wisely during the forthcoming general election.