The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bob Dewar has warned the nation against campaign as she faces a new journey towards 2011 election urging politicians to engage in policy debate rather than campaign of calumny
Mr Dewar, who spoke yesterday during at a parley with journalists at his official residence in Lagos, called for a more friendly atmosphere and amiable environment in the forthcoming general elections.
“As society evolves, politicians must strive to achieve success and build the society that they belong”.
He urged them to engage in politics of policies, advising they should avoid hate speeches, bitter debates and politics of sectionalism which could escalate national issues, adding: ”But rather, you should hold debates that will help the populace comprehend the various plans on how to develop the vast resources of the nation,”.
A leader of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP),Adamu Ciroma was recently quoted as saying if the presidency is not zoned to the North in the coming general elections in 2011, the region will make the nation ungovernable for the president.
“Such inflammatory statements have as well been credited to political leaders from other parts of the country, especially from the south south region”.
Declining to react on the zoning controversy that is plaguing the nation’s political sphere, Mr Dewar noted that there is no perfect politics anywhere in the world, but “as society evolve, they strive to achieve success and build the society.” He enjoined the politicians to utilise the cultural system of dialogue that prevails in villages across the country to “dialogue and resolve any controversial issues.” “The West African sub-region is watching Nigeria to see how it will handle its democratic process, therefore all efforts must be put in place to get it right” he added.
The envoy called for more elaborate debate on issues that will address the nation’s economic and developmental factors such as the power reforms, war against corruption and other economic reforms and to address all of these, the British government will be giving its support to Nigeria, he added Mr Dewar pledged his nation’s support for the election, assuring immense support for the nation’s electoral body.
“We (the British government) in conjunction with other global bodies such as the United States, the European Union and the Commonwealth will be giving technical and managerial support to INEC (the Independent National Electoral Commission) in all of its departments on the conduct of the election” and “we are already doing that” he added.
He also stated that a lots of assistance will be given to the voter’s registration process which will soon commence and other democratic institutions such as the media, civil societies .
He commended the federal government for the amnesty in Niger delta saying it was a very welcomed policy for the return of peace to the region but called on the government to make sure that the region is adequately developed with the prevailing serenity.