Former President Goodluck Jonathan, who is currently leading a delegation of Common wealth election observers to Tanzania, has urged those vying for that country’s presidential election to promptly accept the outcome should they be defeated in the October 25 election.
“If you lose, accept defeat,” he admonished them,warning that any attempt to reject the will of the people will only lead to chaos and affect the peace and unity of Tanzania.
Jonathan, who has been speaking with election stakeholders in Dar es Salaam, comprising the chairman of the electoral commission, leaders of political parties, journalists, youth organizations and the civil society, said it was imperative for them to realize that all stakeholders must play their part for the election to be free and fair.
He told them that he immediately accepted defeat after losing his re-election bid early this year because he did not want personal ambition to deraild emocracy in Nigeria, stressing that he was not ready to allow his “personal ambition to scuttle a democratic system I had helped to nurture.”
“In any election, there are winners and losers. Thepresidential candidate who loses on Sunday shouldgracefully concede the election to avert a politicalcrisis.”
Tanzania’s two leading national newspapers, The Guardian and The Citizen, which have been celebrating the former Nigerian leader since his arrival on Monday, quoted him as saying: “If all parties, including the national electoral commission, political parties, and police force will play their role, nothing will stop Tanzania to record a free and fair election this year. “Successful elections will depend on how each stakeholder plays his or her role to ensure apeaceful, inclusive and transparent electoral process…I’m confident Tanzanians will achieve this.”
He assured the public that the Common wealth Observers Group would perform their observation role with impartiality, independence and transparency. He also said the group would issue aninterim statement on the preliminary findings shortly after the elections, while a final report would be prepared in Tanzania.
“We will also submit the report on the Tanzanian elections to the Secretary General of the Common wealth and subsequently share with relevant stakeholders and the public. The group isscheduled to depart in Tanzania on 31st October 2015,” he stated.