ABUJA  – Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar yesterday urged Nigerians not to despair or lose hope because of the current challenges facing the country.
This is contained in a New Year message released by the former vice-president’s media office in Abuja and signed by Malam Garba Shehu, Atiku’s Head of Media.
The statement stated that no matter the challenge, democracy offered the people the opportunity to use the power of their votes to bring about the desired change.The statement explained that democracy was as good as those who practised it and elective offices should be perceived as an opportunity to offer selfless service rather than personal enrichment.
It said all political leaders should embrace the spirit of tolerance, adding that people should not become enemies because of political differences.
The statement urged Nigerians to see the New Year with renewed optimism and be active participants in the struggle to bring about change by democratic means.
The document urged the people to register massively and collect their permanent voter cards so that they could vote for parties and candidates of their choice.
On the current slump in world oil prices, the statement said all leaders should cut down on extravagant lifestyles.
“It is not enough to tell ordinary Nigerians to make sacrifices in the face of economic austerity, while the leaders are reluctant to evenly share the burden of such sacrifices,’’ it said.